Missile that took down Malaysian passenger plane of Ukraine was fired from Russia unit
A Russian military missile was responsible for shooting down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, an international team of investigators said on Thursday, for the first time pointing the finger directly at Moscow.The families of the victim are unlikely to get an apology from Russia. They might be able to get a judgment which would be difficult to collect on.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. All 298 people onboard were killed.
In 2016, investigators announced they had evidence that the BUK systeminvolved in the incident had crossed the border into eastern Ukraine from Russia and returned after the plane had been shot down.
At a press conference in The Hague on Thursday, the investigators showed photo and video evidence that they said proved they had identified the specific BUK missile system responsible.
They said they had “legal and convincing evidence which will stand up in a courtroom” that the BUK system involved came from the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in Kursk, in western Russia.
Previously, the investigative website Bellingcat has pointed to involvement of the same brigade using open-source information.
The joint investigation team (JIT) looking into the incident is made up of Dutch prosecutors and police and others from Australia, Malaysia and Ukraine. They showed photos and video of the convoy that carried the missile system over the border from Russia to Ukraine, and a series of distinctive markings and serial numbers which they said had enabled them to trace the exact system used in the attack, and trace it to the 53rd brigade.