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Kremlin dismisses investigative journalists’ report on causes of MH17 crash in Donbass

May 04, 13:25 UTC+3
Russia's presidentoal spokesman has commented on a report claiming that the plane was shot down by a missile from a Russian antiaircraft missile system and giving the launcher's number
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© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. The Kremlin doubts the credibility of a report prepared by the expert and journalist group Bellingcat on the causes of the MH17 crash over Ukraine and urges to rely on official data provided by Russian experts, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"I don’t know how true this information can be," the Kremlin spokesman said, commenting on a media report claiming that the Boeing airliner had been shot down by a missile from a Russian antiaircraft missile system and giving the launcher's identification number.

"Of course, a lot of information appears on this tragic Boeing and an overwhelming majority of this information is of speculative nature as persons juggle with some rumors and some fabricated data," Peskov said.

"There are data, which were officially provided by Russian specialists, Russian experts and we urge, in the first place, to rely on these data," the Kremlin spokesman said.

"There are also the data, which have not been disclosed up to date by some states - Ukraine and the United States - and which continue to evoke questions," Peskov said.

"This is the situation, which can be officially stated. And I can’t say how true all these conclusions [by Bellingcat experts] are and I won’t do this," the Kremlin spokesman said.

As the presidential spokesman said, even "the origin and the identity of this group still have to be established."

Peskov also declined to comment on the essence of the report and the data on the alleged identification numbers of missile launchers.

"We do not have detailed data on any identification numbers of Russian armaments and this is sooner the theme, which concerns experts of the Defense Ministry," the Kremlin spokesman said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 passenger airliner on a flight from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the area of hostilities between local militias and Ukrainian governmental troops in east Ukraine’s Donetsk region in July 2014. All 298 people aboard the airliner, including the crewmembers, died in the air crash.

Most of the air crash’s victims were Dutch nationals.

Versions were put forward that the airliner could have been hit by a surface-to-air or an air-to air missile.

The Ukrainian authorities and the militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) accused each other of shooting down the airliner. The UN Security Council passed a resolution on July 21 to hold a comprehensive and independent probe into the crash.

The Dutch Security Council approved a final report on October 13 on the results of the probe into the Malaysian airliner crash in east Ukraine last year. The commission came to the conclusion that the airliner had been downed from a Buk antiaircraft missile system. Moreover, the missile could have been fired from the territory as large as 320 square kilometers in east Ukraine.

According to the report, the Boeing was shot down by the 9H314M warhead, which could have been carried by one of the 9M38 missile modifications. 

Russia’s representatives have said on many occasions they are dissatisfied with how the investigation was carried out and that the data presented by the Russian side were ignored.

Russian specialists investigating the MH17 crash modelled the airliner’s flight and came to the conclusion that the missile, which could have hit the passenger plane, had been fired from the territory uncontrolled by the DPR militia at that time.

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