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Russia says flight MH17 downed by Ukraine-owned missile

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Russia says flight MH17 downed by Ukraine-owned missile

Dutch and Australian officers inspect the site of the MH17 crash.
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Ministry of Defense, Netherlands
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Russia's defence ministry claimed on Monday that the missile that shot down flight MH17 in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board, had been produced in 1986 and was owned by Ukrainian authorities.

Lt. Gen. Nikolia Parshin, the ministry of defence's chief of the Missile and Artillery Directorate, told reporters that they were able to track down the Buk missile's paper trail using two serial numbers found on fragments of the rocket.

According to the documents, which Parshin said had been declassified ahead of the press conference, the missile was manufactured at a military plant in Dolgoprudny, near Moscow, in 1986 and shipped to Ukraine on December 29 of that same year.

Russia alleges that the missile was used in 2014 by Ukraine's 223rd anti-aircraft regiment and on Monday presented audio which it says proves Ukraine's complicity in the disaster.

According to the MOD's spokesman, Gen. Igor Konashenkov, the audio is of a conversation between Ukrainian servicemen recorded in 2016 near Odessa, in southwest Ukraine.

Russian news agency, TASS, said "If so, we'll ... (a synonym of the verb "shoot down") another Malaysian Boeing," can be heard on the recording.

The ministry of defence also dismissed as fabricated videos that a Dutch-led international investigation used as evidence that the missile system had been transported from Russia to the rebel-held region of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

'Russia is responsible'

Russia's findings contradict the Joint Investigation Team which found in May that "Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17".

The investigators concluded that the missile had been fired from rebel-held territories in eastern Ukraine and that "all the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russia armed forces."

"We call on Russia to accept its responsibility and cooperate fully with the process to establish the truth and achieve justice for the victims of flight MH17 and their next of kin," Dutch Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, said at the time.

Russia has denied any involvement in the plane's destruction.

Flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed near Donetsk on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew on board — including 193 Dutch nationals, 43 Malaysian citizens and 27 from Australia — were killed in the crash.