MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Retired Russian Colonel General Nikolai Tkachev has slammed allegations of his being involved in downing the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014 as stupid.
"I don’t know what it is they are saying but it is obvious stupidity," he told TASS commenting on an article about a joint investigation carried out by The Insider and Bellingcat. "I have been living in Yekaterinburg for many years, participating in military and patriotic education programs for kids. I have been maintaining contacts with public organizations and taking part in various public events, always on the media’s radar. I have nothing to add," he noted.
Earlier on Friday, the so-called investigative group Bellingcat, together with journalists from The Insider, published the results of their investigation, claiming to "determine the identity of ‘Delfin,’ a key figure sought by the Joint Investigation Team." "The investigation has identified, to a high degree of certainty, Delfin as Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, currently serving as the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation," the article reads.
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 crew members on board. There were nationals of ten states among the dead, including Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand.
The Ukrainian authorities and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic accused each other of downing the plane.
The investigation into the crash is being conducted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising representatives of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Earlier on Friday, the Dutch prosecutor general’s office said that the JIT would thoroughly assess the information published by Bellingcat.