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Moscow says no Russian missile involved in MH17 plane crash over Ukraine

Moscow says no Russian missile involved in MH17 plane crash over Ukraine

Moscow says no Russian missile involved in MH17 plane crash over Ukraine
May 24
21:54 2018

Russia’s Defense Ministry has strongly rejected fresh claims by an international investigation team that the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was downed by a missile launched from a Russian unit, stressing Moscow has nothing to do with the tragic event in which some 300 people lost their lives after the plane was downed over eastern Ukraine.

“Not a single anti-aircraft missile system of the Russian Armed Forces has ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, carried by Russia's state news agency TASS, on Thursday.

“It is clear that these gratuitous accusations are an attempt to discredit our nation in the eyes of the international community,” it added.

The statement came a few hours after Dutch prosecutors investigating the disaster announced that a missile system purportedly from the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade of the Russian Armed Forces had been allegedly employed to shoot down the passenger plane some four years ago. The incident took the lives of all 298 people on board. Two thirds of the victims were Dutch.

The Russian military further expressed concern over “the determination of the Dutch-led investigation to justify its conclusions by solely using images from social networks that have been expertly altered with computer graphic editing tools.”

It also stressed that the images, used in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) presser earlier on Thursday, were prepared by the Ukrainian special services and had been previously displayed by the British online investigative activist group Bellingcat a year ago.

“If the international investigating team is really interested in establishing the true culprits of the MH17 crash… its representatives should rely in their statements primarily on facts and witness testimony instead of products by fake-makers from Bellingcat or the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine),” the ministry added.

The flight MH17 on a Boeing 777 was blown out of the sky over conflict-hit eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Moscow has time and again denied any involvement in the disaster, putting the blame instead on Kiev.

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