NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands (AP) — The Latest on the probe into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014 (all times local):
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says a Dutch-led criminal investigation into Malaysian jet crash is “biased and politically motivated.”
Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said Wednesday that communications intercepts showed that MH17 was shot down from an area in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed separatists with a missile from a Buk launcher. He said the launcher had been brought in from Russian territory and returned back to Russia later.
The conclusions were billed as results of a two-year Dutch-led criminal probe of the July 17, 2014, downing that claimed all 298 lives on the plane.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says the Dutch-led probe has ignored evidence offered by Russia and allowed Ukraine to manipulate the evidence and shape anti-Russian conclusions.
Ukrainian officials say the Dutch-led team’s findings prove Russia’s complicity in the tragedy of the downing of MH17.
A deadly surface-to-air weapon blasted Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky at 33,000 feet, killing all 298 people aboard on July 17, 2014. Dutch investigators say the missile was launched from farmland in the rebel-held area of Pervomaiskiy, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne.
“A new and very important element in today’s report is the information about the route by which the weapon came from Russia to Ukraine and was removed in the opposite direction through part of the Ukrainian-Russian border that was controlled only by Russia and their militants,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said in a statement. “This again points to the direct involvement of the aggressor state in the downing of the aircraft.”
Russia has consistently denied allegations that pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine were responsible for downing the passenger plane.
On Monday, the Russian military said it has new radio-location data that showed the missile that downed the Boeing 777 did not originate from rebel-controlled territory, and said it would turn that data over to investigators.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that assertion on Wednesday ahead of the Dutch report.
“If there was a rocket, it could only have been launched from a different area,” he told reporters, referring to Russian radar data. “You can’t argue with it. It can’t be discussed.”
Dutch-led criminal investigators say they have solid evidence that a Malaysian jet was shot down in 2014 by a Buk missile that was moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia.
Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said communications intercepts showed that pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon and reported its arrival on July 17, 2014, in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine.
The deadly surface-to-air weapon that blasted Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky at 33,000 feet, killing all 298 people aboard, was launched that day from farmland in the rebel-held area of Pervomaiskiy, 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, the investigation found.
Witnesses there reported an explosion and a whistling sound and a patch of field was set on fire.