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Russia ready to send experts to take part in investigation of Boeing air crash

Hasty conclusions and politicized statements should be avoided before the end of the investigation, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said

UNITED NATIONS, July 22, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is ready to send its experts to take part in the investigation of the recent crash of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing airliner in Ukraine and contribute in all possible ways to its organization, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

On behalf of the Russian Federation, the diplomat expressed condolences to the families of those killed as a result of the crash, and said Moscow on its part “is ready to render all possible assistance in organizing and conducting an impartial international investigation.”

“Russian military and civilian agencies have been given relevant instructions. We are ready to send relevant specialists to take part in the investigation,” Churkin said.

He said Russia insists on “an absolutely impartial, independent and open international investigation of the crash.” He also said the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) should play a leading role when clarifying the circumstances of the incident.

Churkin said hasty conclusions and politicized statements should be avoided before the end of the investigation.

“Particularly inadmissible is what we are watching now. Kiev is apparently trying to use the shock the international community is experiencing from the death of the Malaysian airliner to boost its punitive operation in the country’s east,” he warned.

Ukraine to answer numerous questions

He accused Kiev of spreading red herrings allegedly exposing involvement of East-Ukrainian self-defense force volunteers in the destruction of the jet and pointed about the highly suspicious actions of the Ukrainian military.

“Ukraine will have to answer numerous questions concerning the actions of its air controllers and the causes of relocation of one of its Buk antiaircraft batteries to an area immediately adjoining the territory controlled by self-defense forces,” Churkin said.

“Why did the battery urgently left its position right after the downfall of the airliner?” he said. “And why was it that the radars of the Ukrainian air defenses worker with especial intensity July 17?”

Churkin indicated that the Russian Defense Ministry had already formulated a range of questions, adding that international investigators would hopefully put them up, too.

“For the time being, however, Kiev has begun with a false start - by spreading forgeries, some of them right in the hall of the Security Council,” he said.

As an instance of this, he referred to the heavily peddled recording of radio communications between the self-defense force commanders which had proved to a product of editing, with pieces clipped out from different conversations, including the ones that had taken place prior to the July 17 accident.

Churkin also said that the video clip showing an ostensible transportation of a Buk missile launcher to the territory of Russia published by the Ukrainian Foreign Interior Ministry had been filmed on a territory controlled by the Kiev forces.

“If missiles were launched from it, they were not launched by the self-defense fighters,” he said.

He recalled that Russia found itself in the same tragic situation in October 2001 when the Ukrainian military brought down a Tupolev-154 jet of Sibir Airlines en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk over the Black Sea, killing all the 78 people aboard.
The circumstances of that accident were confirmed by an international investigation later but Ukraine refuses to recognize its legal responsibility to this day.

“Considering Kiev’s record, it would too airy as a minimum to give it the leading role in investigating the July 17 accident, unless a task of covering up its true causes has been set forth," Churkin said.

On July 17, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger airliner on flight MH17 from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine’s embattled Donetsk Region, killing all 298 people on board.

Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During the military operation, conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, 478 civilians have been killed and 1,392 wounded in it. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.