- Russia rejects MH17 report as “biased”
- JIT has “ignored evidence”
- Moscow denies any involvement
Russia has firmly dismissed a report into the 2014 downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, calling it biased. All 298 people on board flight MH17 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) international prosecuters have concluded the aircraft was destroyed by a Russian-made Buk missile. It had been fired from a Ukrainian village held by pro-Russian rebels and the launcher returned to Russia the next day.
Read a summary of the report here
Russia has long denied any involvement in the episode.
It says the report ignores evidence and that new radar data presented by the Russian military will prompt the prosecuters to revise their findings.
“Russia is disappointed that nothing has changed during the investigation into the Boeing crash. The conclusions of the Dutch prosecution confirm that the investigation is biased and politically motivated. Arbitrarily laying blame and wishful thinking has actually become the norm for our Western colleagues,” stated Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Almaz-Antey, the Russian makers of BUK missiles criticised the findings presented by the investigators saying they were based on a simulation of the crash, and not reality.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko disagreed claiming there was now firm proof of who carried out this horrible crime, and who is responsible.
Prosecutors claim to have established the identities of about 100 people “linked to the crash or the transport of the Buk” missile, but they are yet to determine who could be held criminally responsible.
They also admit they do not know who gave the order to shoot the plane down. And while there is a determination to prosecute those responsible, it is very unclear that this will ever be possible, particularly if it requires Moscow to hand over suspects.