All evidence indicates it was Russia that deployed to Ukraine a Buk missile launcher, which shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from the sky over the occupied Donbas in 2014.
That's according to Christo Grozev of the Bellingcat investigative project, who was part of the team that collected key information about the MH17 downing, DW reports.
"We've seen so much mutually confirmed evidence that in general there's no other explanation other than the fact that Russia provided the weapon with which the plane was shot down and 298 people were killed. There's no doubt now, we've seen even more evidence than those presented in court," the journalist said, as quoted by DW in the report published in Ukrainian.
According to the journalist, the investigators studied every available piece of telecom data, satellite imagery, publications across social networks posted by the Russian military, including from an anti-aircraft missile brigade that could transport the Buk launcher.
"If Russia sought to establish the truth, they would simply cooperate with the investigation to the extent that they was asked to. But they still refuse," Grozev explained.
Thus, the JIT and the judges asked Russia to assist in the interrogation of servicemen with the 53rd Brigade, as well as two military from the 5th Brigade, so that they had an opportunity to deny charges pressed against Moscow, Grozev noted.
"The Russian Federation remains silent on this matter, not providing such access. Russia continues to assert that they have been held out of the investigation, not given the opportunity to contribute, but at the same time they don't comply with such data inquiries," the journalist concluded.
- Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Russia-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands. The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.
- The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.
- On June 19, 2019, JIT investigators accused four Russia-controlled military intelligence officers of involvement in a missile attack that shot down MH17. The first four suspects in the MH17 case are Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (AKA "Strelkov"), who in the summer of 2014 was the so-called "Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"); Russian General Sergei Dubinsky (nom de guerre "Khmuryi"), who led the "DPR intelligence;" Oleg Pulatov (nom de guerre "Gyurza"), who in 2014 headed of "the 2nd division of the GRU of the DPR;" as well as Leonid Kharchenko (nom de guerre "Krot"), who was a leader of the "reconnaissance battalion" of Russia-led forces.
- The MH17 trial in the Dutch court began on March 9, 2020.