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MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Investigators have received the evidence of a Ukrainian warplane involvement in the crash of the Malaysian passenger Boeing (Flight MH17) over eastern Ukraine, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee (IC) Vladimir Markin told TASS on Wednesday.
“The investigators who did want to delay the interrogation yesterday evening, met a Ukrainian soldier who confirmed that he quit his military unit and crossed the border into Russia. The evidence of the soldier who is now a witness with a pseudonym for his own safety suggests that the passenger Boeing 777 plane of Flight MH17 was supposedly downed by a Sukhoi Su-25 fighter of the Ukrainian Air Force piloted by AF Captain Voloshin. The fighter took off from an airfield located in the area of the city of Dnipropetrovsk,” Markin said. The witness was doing his military service at the same airfield.
According to him, he “personally saw as Voloshin’s fighter ahead of the sortie was loaded with the R-60 type air-to-air missiles with which the Su-25 fighters were not normally loaded for their sorties.” “The witness said there was no need to equip the fighters with such missiles, as the people’s militia (in the south-east of Ukraine) are not armed with aircraft,” Markin said.
The witness also told the investigators about his last days of service in a Ukrainian Air Force unit. “Judging by his conduct, the facts he cited, the investigators had no doubt about the witness’ sincerity and his awareness of the events in the military unit,” Markin said.
The witness drew attention to the fact that when the fighter jet returned to the aerodrome it had no missiles and also then he clearly heard the words of pilot Voloshin who told a fellow soldier: “The plane turned out at a wrong time and at a wrong place.” “The facts and information cited by the witness without confusion convinced the investigators of the truth of his testimony and a polygraph test confirmed this. This testimony is very significant for the investigation, and most importantly, it matches the data the investigators got from other sources and confirms the fact of the Su-25 flight during the Boeing crash,” Markin said.
In particular, he said, a number of witnesses — Ukrainian citizens who reside in the area of the Boeing 777 plane crash — testified that “not long before the crash, they saw a warplane in the air in close proximity to the passenger airliner.”
“Thus, the witness testimony is not the only one, but a very important evidence that the Ukrainian armed forces were involved in the Boeing crash,” Markin said.
He added that “as the witness may be in danger, the investigation is considering the issue of offering him state protection under the witness protection program.”
“The Investigative Committee will continue to gather and analyze all the data on this air crash. And if representatives of the international commission investigating this air crash are really interested in establishing the truth and turn to us, we are ready to provide them with all the available materials,” said the SK spokesman.