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Russia presented hard evidence in MH17 crash case, says security chief

Nikolai Patrushev said that the Dutch investigators had named suspects in the downing case without providing evidence

UFA, June 20. /TASS/. Moscow has presented hard evidence in the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash case, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said in response to a TASS question on Thursday.

"We presented information, including technical and other data, it is hard evidence but it is not being taken into account," he noted. "We would like this evidence to be considered but they have no wish to assess it," Patrushev added.

Patrushev said that the Dutch investigators have named suspects in the 2014 MH17 downing case without providing evidence.

"As soon as the event occurred, the perpetrators were immediately named and they reduced this entire investigation to confirm their first assumption," Patrushev told reporters. "We don’t see any evidence that proves what they have said. And in general, in my opinion this has been an awkward investigation."

MH17 crash

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing-777 passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014. The crash killed all the 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. There were nationals of ten states among the dead.

The Joint Investigation Team comprises representatives of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

On May 24, 2018, the team gave an update of the state of affairs in the criminal investigation, claiming that "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 allegations and said that none of the missile systems belonging to the Russian Armed Forces had ever been taken abroad. The missile, which downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, had been made in the town of Dolgoprudny outside Moscow in 1986, delivered to a military unit deployed to Ukraine and never brought back to Russia, Chief of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Missile and Artillery Department Lieutenant General Nikolai Parshin said at a briefing.

Nevertheless, on May 25, 2018, Australia and the Netherlands issued a statement saying that they "hold Russia responsible for its part in the downing of flight MH17." "The Netherlands and Australia are now convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17," the statement said.

On June 19, 2019, the Joint Investigation Team announced that it had identified four suspects involved in the crash (three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian), adding that a trial was expected to begin on March 9, 2020. The Netherlands plans to seek their extradition and will ask Russia for an opportunity to question them.