Investigators: Russian missile downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17


A Dutch-led team of international investigators has released its findings on the MH17 tragedy, concluding the plane was shot down by rebels in eastern Ukraine, using a Buk missile system brought from Russia.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consists of investigators and experts from the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia and Ukraine. The team was tasked with determining who was responsible for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

“Based on the criminal investigation, we have concluded that flight MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation,” said Wilbert Paulissen, the director of the National Criminal Investigation Division of National Police of the Netherlands at the news conference on Wednesday.

The missile had been taken from Russia to rebel-held Ukraine in the morning of 17 July, when the plane was shot down, and the launcher was taken back to Russia the next day, he said.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has also narrowed the missile launch site down to a specific field near the village of Pervomaiskyi, which was then in rebel hands.

“We have determined that the weapons came from the Russian Federation,” the official said.

The report by the JIT says the findings on the Buk’s route from Russia are based on various sources, including “intercepted telephone conversations, witness statements, photographs and videos that had been posted on social media.”

The Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team says that a technical problem or an “attack within the aircraft,” such as a terrorist assault, can be ruled out.

“An accident and evidence for a terrorist attack from inside the aircraft have been ruled out. Results from the forensic investigation support the scenario of an attack from outside the aircraft,” the JIT said in the report published on Wednesday following the official presentation.