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Russian aviation official urges Ukraine to bear responsibility for MH17 crash

MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The main cause of the MH17 crash in 2014 was Kiev’s failure to close the airspace for civil aviation over the conflict zone in Donbass, the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport, Oleg Storchevoy, said on Thursday.

"We believe it is just necessary to again take note of the conclusion made in the final report of the international technical commission that Ukraine bears full responsibility for not having closed its airspace. The failure to take these measures is the main cause of the crash," Storchevoy told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Storchevoy reminded that Russia has submitted the primary data from radars located near its borders. "So far, Ukraine has not provided such data from its military and civilian radars," he reminded.

Preliminary findings

On Wednesday, the Joint Investigation Team consisting of representatives of the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, Malaysia and Belgium, presented its first preliminary results of the criminal investigation into the MH17 crash in Donbass. The JIT claims that the plane was shot down with a BUK missile brought from Russia’s territory.

The investigators said the missile was launched from the Pervomayskoye village to the south of Snezhnoye, which was controlled by self-defense militias at that time. The JIT has not studied the data provided by Russia that rejected this version.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it doubts that the conclusions of the investigators are objective. "The data, which the investigation team presented at a briefing on Wednesday, had been taken from two main sources: the Internet and Ukraine’s security services. Therefore, the objectivity of that data and consequently the conclusions made on its basis cannot but be doubtful," the ministry’s official spokesman Igor Konashenkov stressed.

He also assured that no Russian air defense systems have ever crossed the Ukrainian border.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing -777 flight MH17, which was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Donbass on July 17, 2014. All the 283 passengers and 15 crew members, nationals of ten countries, died in the crash.