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Russian Investigative Committee sends new information about MH17 crash to Netherlands

The committee spokesperson said that the information provided by Russia to give "a good reason to reconsider the investigation’s interim conclusions"

MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has forwarded information about the Ukrainian military’s involvement in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash to the Netherlands, Committee Spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko told TASS.

According to her, on Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry presented strong evidence proving the Ukrainian military’s involvement in the crash.

"The Russian Investigative Committee’s experts acted on three legal assistance requests received from the Dutch prosecution in 2018 alone," Petrenko said. "A large amount of work has been done to obtain the necessary information. Recently obtained information has been handed over to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to be forwarded to the Netherlands in accordance with international agreements," she added.

"We are confident that the information provided by Russia gives a good reason to reconsider the investigation’s interim conclusions concerning the tragedy and groundless allegations against Russia," the Investigative Committee spokesperson said.

In turn, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is investigating the crash said it has taken note of the information the Russian authorities provided.

"The JIT will meticulously study the materials presented today as soon as the Russian Federation makes the relevant documents available to the JIT as requested in May 2018 and required by UN Security Council resolution 2166,"  the statement indicated. "From the start of the investigation until today, the JIT has always carefully analyzed and processed the information provided by the Russian Federation.".

The JIT claimed, however, that the Russian authorities had left some its questions unanswered.

"[…] the JIT has found that information from the Russian Ministry of Defense previously presented to the public and provided to the JIT was factually inaccurate on several points," it said. As an instance of these ostensible inaccuracies, the team cited Russia’s information on the "[…] presence of a fighter plane in the vicinity of MH17 on radar imagery presented to the public on a press conference in July 2014."

A Boeing 777 jet of Malaysia Airlines that was performing flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the territory of eastern Ukraine, swept by an armed civil conflict, on July 17, 2014. The disaster claimed the lives of 298 passengers and crew, who were citizens of ten countries.

The crash occurred on the background of the Kiev government’s reluctance to close the international air path over eastern Ukraine in spite of the raging armed conflict where antiaircraft weapons were used, too.

Russian Defense Ministry officials told reporters earlier on Monday the Russian military had managed to identify the missile the misfortunate jet had been downed with. In part, they established that the Soviet Armed Forces shipped it to Ukraine in 1986, when the latter was one of the fifteen constituent republics of the USSR.

The officials also said the missile had never been from Ukraine to Russia ever since then.

In addition, they said the Defense Ministry had proved the video footage allegedly showing the transportation of the BUK-M1 from Russia to Ukraine was a fake.

The officials presented an audio recording of radio communications of the Ukrainian military that testified to Kiev’s involvement in the MH17 accident.

They recalled that Kiev had admitted the impossibility of the BUK-M1 complexes’ falling into the hands of self-defense units of the self-proclaimed unrecognized Lugansk and Donetsk republics.