The cause of death of 298 people killed in the crash of the Boeing 777 Malaysian flight MH17 in July 2014 over Donbass was 9M38 rockets fired from Buk close to Pervomaysk village - from the territory, which in July 2014 was controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke presented the interim report of the first phase of the work of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to the families of the victims of Flight MH17 on Wednesday, September 28th, - informs Zerkalo Nyedyeli.
As previously reported, a team of investigators conducting the criminal investigation of the tragedy consists of representatives of the law enforcement agencies of Malaysia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. "In general, the promulgated document confirmed published in October 2015 Conclusions of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) to determine the technical causes of the crash of the Malaysian plane," - stated in the material MN17: Half a Step to Truth. Investigators found Russian roots of Buk.
Therefore, based on witness interviews, intercepts of militants’ conversations, radar data, video from the social network, satellite pictures, JIT investigators claim that the cause of death of 298 people was 9M38 rocket fired from Buk. "Buk was set as noted in the report in the highest point of 500 to 600 m near Pervomaysk Donetsk region. As noted in the report, it is the highest point in the radius of 5 km. The specified area was controlled by pro-Russian separatists in July 2014," – says the report.
The essential difference between JIT and DSB investigation reports is not only that it accurately indicates the place where the missile was launched. For example, the Dutch Safety Board of investigators only pointed a large area of 320 sq. km: an area bounded by Snezhnoye in the north, and Pervomaysk and Stepanovka in the east and southeast.
The report of JIT also records route on which anti-aircraft missile launcher came to Ukraine from Russia and after having shot down MH17, came back. The interim report does not specify suspects of the crime, although it states that 100 people were involved in transportation and management of the Buk.
"The identification of their personalities will be the subject of the second phase of the JIT investigation. As well as answering the question who gave the command to launch Buk and the crew of "vacationers" in our country and ordered to fire a rocket at the passenger aircraft," - said the article.
The investigation notes that the fact that the anti-aircraft missile launcher arrived in Ukraine from Russia and once launched a missile at MH17, went back to Russia, can talk about the participation of Russian troops in managing the launch system. But, according to JIT investigators, the fact that Buk came from Russia and then returned back is not self-sufficient to bring charges. To take the case to court, it is necessary to clearly identify the suspects, a chain of subordination and transmission of orders, etc.
It was reported that Bellingcat named people probably involved in the MH17 tragedy. The study's authors assume that Buk from which the aircraft was shot down, was likely to be controlled by soldiers of the 2nd battalion of the 53rd air defence missile brigade of the Russian army. Bellingcat notes that the standard crew of Buk consists of two people – a driver and an operator, as well as two officers - a lieutenant and a sergeant.
The decision on the missile launch is made by the lieutenant. In its turn, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation denied any involvement of the Russian military in the MH17 tragedy in response to the Bellingcat report. On July 17th, 2014 Boeing 777 of Malaysian airlines en route flight MH17 Amsterlam - Kuala Lumpur was shot down in the conflict area near Shakhtersk village in Donetsk region.
All 298 people who were on board of the plane were killed. On October 13th the presentation of the report of the Security Council of the Netherlands took place, according to which the MH17 flight was shot down by a missile of the Buk complex of Russian production. At the same time, the report didn’t name ther responsible for the launch of the missile.