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Donetsk republic leader says Kiev authorities hamper Boeing crash investigation

December 25, 2014, 16:38 UTC+3 DONETSK
Russian investigators on Tuesday evening questioned a Ukrainian serviceman claiming the Boeing 777 could have been shot down by a Su-25 of Ukraine’s Air Force flown by pilot surnamed Voloshin
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© EPA/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO

DONETSK, December 25. /TASS/. Kiev is obstructing in every way possible the investigation into the crash of the Malaysian passenger aircraft as the truth about the real cause of the tragic incident is disadvantageous to the Ukrainian authorities, Alexander Zakharchenko, the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), said on Thursday.

“Any form of the truth about the shot-down aircraft and any unbiased form of the investigation are not to the benefit of Ukraine,” Zakharchenko said. “That is why it [Ukraine] obstructs the investigation in every way possible.”

On July 17, 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 - over 190 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 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.”

Zakharchenko said the DPR was not behind the downing of the aircraft due to two main reasons because militias would never think of such a thing as they are "humans and not beasts,” and they "have no proper technical means” to shoot down an aircraft.

Earlier this week, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said investigators have received evidence of involvement of a Ukrainian military aircraft in the Malaysian Boeing’s crash.

Russian investigators on Tuesday evening questioned a Ukrainian serviceman who earlier gave an interview to the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on the Boeing crash. In line with his testimony, the Boeing 777 could have been shot down by a Su-25 of Ukraine’s Air Force flown by Ukraine Air Force pilot surnamed Voloshin.

However, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said Voloshin had not flown on the day when the Boeing crashed in the Donetsk Region.

Markin said that “as the witness may be endangered, the investigation is considering granting him state protection under a witness protection program.” He said that if “representatives of the international commission investigating the air crash are interested in establishing the truth and turn to us, we are ready to provide [them with] all available materials.”.

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