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Russia reveals name of key witness in MH17 crash investigation

June 03, 2015, 12:26 UTC+3
The investigators will also request that air defense weaponry manufacturer Almaz-Antei provide its conclusions on the possible causes for the crash
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© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Ukrainian citizen Yevgeny Agapov staying in Russia under the state protection is a key witness of the last year's MH17 crash, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, said on Wednesday.

"This witness is Ukrainian citizen Yevgeny Agapov, who served as an aircraft weapon mechanic at the first squadron of the tactical aviation brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force," Markin said. "He remains under state protection."

Russia’s Investigative Committee will request arms producer's conclusions on MH17 flight crash

According to Markin, the investigators will request that air defense weaponry manufacturer Almaz-Antei provide its conclusions on the possible causes for the crash.

"The Investigative Committee of Russia is continuing investigating a criminal case into grave and especially grave crimes committed by the Ukrainian military against peace and human security," Markin said.

‘The conclusions made public yesterday by Almaz-Antei corporation on the possible causes for the crash of the Boeing passenger airliner on July 17, 2014 undoubtedly evoke interest. They will be soon requested from the corporation, carefully studied and attached to the probe's materials," the spokesman said.

Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the chief designer of Almaz-Antey Concern told journalists in Moscow on Tuesday that the Malaysian aircraft above Ukraine was downed by an air defense missile, most likely 9M38M1 of the Buk-M1 air defense system.

In turn, Almaz-Antey Director General Yan Novikov recalled that the missile was discontinued in Russia in 1999.

Almaz-Antey experts said the missile was launched from an area south of the locality of Zaroshchenskoye in Ukraine, while analysis did not confirm the version that the missile was launched from Snezhnoye. "For experimental integrity, we can’t say what side owned the missile," he said.

On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Most passengers - 193 people - were Dutch nationals.

The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the probe and coordinating the international team of investigators, said in its preliminary report published September 9, 2014 that "Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.".

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