According to UNIAN correspondent, this was stated by a spokeswoman of the Security Service of Ukraine Olena Gytlianska at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"The decision to close three airports was made by the State Aviation Service based on the information provided by a division of the Ministry of Defence regarding the potential threat to civilian aircraft in the ATO area, particularly, the information that surface-to-air missile systems with a maximum range of 250 kilometers (Buk, Pantsyr and others) were deployed in Luhansk and Donetsk regions,” Gytlianska said.

“Therefore, a decision was made to prevent the occurrence of the [type of] catastrophe that happened with [Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17].”

Gytlianska said the closure of airspace in the event of such threats is common international practice.

She said the earlier-closed airports in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk are open again, and the airport in Zaporizhya will reopen when the aviation services are sure it is safe - according to the preliminary schedule on Saturday, December 20.

As UNIAN reported earlier, from December 13-16, the State Aviation Service suspended all flights to Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia for security reasons.