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Investigation fails to provide conclusive proof on MH17 case — Russian MP

MOSCOW, June 19. /TASS/. The Joint Investigative Team (JIT), established to investigate the MH17 crash in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region in 2014, has not followed its accusations with conclusive proof, Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky told reporters on Wednesday.

"The new accusations of the JIT concerning the Malaysian Boeing do not stand up to any criticism. It is another "highly likely"-style case. Once again, no conclusive proof has been presented, but only loud and categorical statements accusing Russian citizens," he said.

According to Slutsky, such accusations "cannot be perceived objectively by Russia." He reminded that the JIT refused to involve Russian investigators in the case.

"A politicized approach is obvious here. There is an impression that the goal of this so-called investigation is not the search for the truth, but the vilification of Russia by any means possible," the MP concluded.

The MH17 crash

The Boeing-777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the east of the Donetsk Region. As a result, 298 people, citizens of 10 states, were killed in the crash. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass accused each other of being complicit in the tragedy.

On May 24, 2018, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, released its update on the criminal investigation into the MH17 crash. According to the JIT, "the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation."

Russia’s Defense Ministry rejected all the accusations saying that none of the Russian Army’s air defense missile systems had ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine, while the launched missile was delivered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1986 and has not been in possession of the Russian military since then.

On Wednesday, the JIT named three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian citizen suspected of being involved in the Boeing jet crash in Ukraine in July 2014. The list of suspects includes Igor Girkin, known under the nickname of Strelkov, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko. International investigators will address Russia with the request to interrogate the suspects.