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Thu, 21 Nov 2019 09:05 GMT

Russian Military Unit Accused of Downing Malaysian Aeroplane


7Dnews London - Reuters

Fri, 25 May 2018 17:38 GMT

Dutch prosecutors identified a Russian military unit on Thursday as the source of the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 296 people on board.

The airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was hit by a Russian-made "Buk" anti-aircraft missile on July 17th, 2014 over territory held by pro-Russian separatists. There were no survivors. Two thirds of those killed were Dutch.

Investigators appealed to the public to come forward and help identify members of the crew who operated the missile and determine how high up the chain of command the order originated.

Russia repeated on Thursday that it had nothing to do with the incident. In a statement on the TASS news agency, the Russian military denied that any Russian missile had ever crossed the border to Ukraine.

Prosecutors showed photos and videos of a truck convoy carrying the system as it crossed the border from Russia to Ukraine. It crossed back several days later with one missile missing. The vehicles had serial numbers and other markings that were unique to the 53rd brigade, based in the western Russian city of Kursk, they said.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT), drawn from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine is gathering evidence for a criminal prosecution for the downing of the plane.

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