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MH17 investigation suggests attempts to conceal Boeing crash cause — lawmaker

October 13, 2015, 20:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia wants to establish the true causes behind the Boeing crash, but the report which the Dutch Safety Board presented on Tuesday is unlikely to resolve this problem, a Russian lawmaker says
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© AP Photo/Peter Dejong

MOSCOW, October 13 /TASS/. The Dutch Safety Board’s report on investigation into the MH17 plane crash suggests attempts to conceal the true causes that led to the Boeing 777 tragedy, a Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"The course of the investigation suggests that someone wants either to drag it on or conceal the tragedy’s true causes," Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security, said.

"Conclusions that the missile was allegedly launched from an area with a range of 320 square kilometers and that the missile hit the plane on the left side from the cockpit are similar to what the first witnesses of the tragedy used to say," Ozerov said.

"Naturally, Russia wants to establish the true causes behind the Boeing crash. But the report which the Dutch Safety Board presented on Tuesday is unlikely to resolve this problem. On the contrary, it is raising a number of new questions and makes further investigation necessary," the Russian lawmaker stressed.

He believes Russia found itself in a difficult situation after the international community had barred it from the investigation. Russia has accumulated "great experience in investigating such accidents. There is an impression that the Netherlands and British experts involved in investigating the tragedy started their work with a clean sheet," Ozerov went on to say adding the investigators had refused to attract experts from Almaz-Antey, Russia’s leading manufacturer of anti-aircraft missile systems.

Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777, which was making an MH17 flight from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), crashed in the east of Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 17, 2014 killing 283 passengers onboard and 15 crewmen, the citizens of 10 countries. Investigators believe the plane was gunned down by a "surface-to-air" or "air-to-air" missile.

The Dutch Safety Board published the results of its probe into the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine last year and its results contradicted the findings announced by Almaz-Antey on Tuesday.

According to a report presented by the Dutch Safety Board, the Malaysian airliner was hit by a missile with the 9H314M warhead. Meanwhile, Almaz-Antey showed on Tuesday that the Boeing had been shot down by an older missile modification with different striking elements.

Almaz-Antey CEO Yan Novikov said on Tuesday the results of the mathematical modelling of the airliner crash showed H-or butterfly-shaped striking elements on the Boeing. However, Russia’s current Buk antiaircraft missile systems are not fitted out with such striking elements. These butterfly-shaped elements that left the traces of holes in the plane’s fuselage were supplied only for the older Buk versions now operational only with the Ukrainian army.

"It became absolutely clear as a result of the experiments that if the Malaysian Boeing was hit by a missile from the Buk-M1 system, this could be only the 9M38 missile of the older modification compared with the 9M38M1 missile that has no H-shaped striking elements," Novikov said, following the results of the MH17 crash modelling.

The head of the Dutch Safety Board also said that the plane had crashed due to an explosion to the left of the pilots’ cockpit.

However, Almaz-Antey’s own investigation of the MH17 crash and full-scale experiments fully refute these findings. If the missile had been launched from the Snezhnoye community controlled by the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the plane would have been hit on its right and not left side.

"This radically differs from what we saw on the Malaysian Boeing," adviser to the Almaz-Antey general designer Mikhail Malyshevsky said earlier on Tuesday.

The plane’s damage on its left side proves that it was hit by a missile launched from the Zaroshchenskoye community controlled by the Ukrainian military, he said.

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