MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry has ascertained that the videos showing the movement of a Buk missile system from Russia to Ukraine, presented by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, were fabricated, ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov told reporters.
According to him, Russian experts thoroughly scrutinized those videos and came to the conclusion that they had been fabricated.
The Russian Defense Ministry has held a press conference devoted to the MH17 crash, presenting a detailed analysis of those videos and proof of their fabrication
The Defense Ministry also presented an audio recording proving Ukraine’s complicity in the MH17 disaster in 2014, Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the ministry, told the media.
General Konashenkov said the audio recording of a conversation between Ukrainian military servicemen was made back in 2016 in the Odessa Region during the Rubezh-2016 exercise and published in the Ukrainian mass media.
"If so, we’ll … [a synonym of the verb ‘shoot down’ - TASS] another Malaysian Boeing," one of the Ukrainian military servicemen said in the conversation.
The missile, which downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, was made in the town of Dolgoprudny outside Moscow in 1986, delivered to a military unit deployed to Ukraine and was never brought back to Russia, Chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Missile and Artillery Department Lieutenant General Nikolai Parshin told reporters.
According to him, the missile fragments presented by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the MH17 crash carried the numbers of the missile’s nozzle and engine. "Once we had the nozzle and engine numbers, we were able to find out the missile’s number," he specified.
"There are documents in the archives of the Dolgoprudny Research Institute, which made it possible to find out the missile’s tail number. It came out that the missile was assembled on December 24, 1986, and delivered by rail to the military unit number 20/152, officially named the 223rd Air Defense Missile Brigade. It was deployed to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic’s Ternopol Region, which was part of the Subcarpathian Military District," he added.
According to the general, the military unit was never withdrawn to Russia
The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. There were nationals of ten states among the dead. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) looking into the crash is comprised of representatives from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.
On May 24, the team provided an update on the criminal investigation, claiming "the Buk-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade... a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation."
Russia’s Defense Ministry rejected all the allegations and said that none of the missile systems belonging to the Russian Armed Forces had ever been taken abroad.
Nevertheless, on May 25, Australia and the Netherlands issued a statement saying that they "hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17." The two countries called on Russia to hold talks in order to find an appropriate solution and warned that the case could be submitted to an international court or organization.