None of the Russian Army’s air defense missile systems ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday, commenting on the findings released by the Joint Investigation Team on the MH17 crash in Donbass in 2014.
“We got acquainted with the statements made at today’s press conference by representatives of the international investigation team on probing the crash of the Malaysian MH17 Boeing over Ukraine on July 17, 2014,” the defense ministry stated.
“None of the Russian Army’s air defense missile systems ever crossed the Russia-Ukraine border,” the ministry said.
Moscow presented overwhelming evidence proving the use of Ukrainian Buk missile systems in downing flight MH17, the ministry said.
“While cooperating with Dutch law enforcement agencies, Russia presented overwhelming evidence proving that Ukrainian Buk missile systems had been used to down the flight en-route from the Netherlands,” the statement reads.
“Moreover, all the primary data received by the Utyos-T radar station, which was operating in the [Russian] Rostov region on July 17, 2014, was passed to the international investigative group,” the defense ministry added. “The radar station did not record any aerial objects approaching the Boeing from the east, particularly from the direction of the Snezhnoye and Pervomaiskoye settlements,” the statement says.
“The Dutch investigation’s determination to justify its conclusions by using only graphically photos posted on social media causes concern,” the statement reads.
“The most important thing that we would like to draw attention to is that Dutch investigators rejected testimonies from eyewitnesses living in Ukrainian settlements close to the crash site, which mention a missile launch from an area controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces,” the Russian Defense Ministry added.