No Russian Missile Involved in MH17 Plane Crash, Says Moscow
Moscow on Thursday, 24 May, rejected an international investigation that found a Russian missile downed flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, saying no such weapon had ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border and blaming Kiev for the tragedy.
"Not a single anti-aircraft missile system from the Russian Federation has ever crossed the Russia-Ukraine border," the defence ministry said in a statement carried by local news agencies.
Earlier on 24 May, a Netherlands-led joint investigation team said, for the first time, that the missile which brought down the plane over eastern Ukraine came from a Russian military brigade.
He told reporters gathered for a press conference that “the 53rd Brigade forms part of the Russian armed forces.”
The Russian foreign ministry later said "it is clear that these gratuitous accusations are an attempt to discredit our nation in the eyes of the international community." It said investigators had presented "no evidence" to back up their allegation except for a video which it said was based on fabricated information from a blogging site.
Ukraine and its Western allies have long accused Russia of funnelling troops and arms across the border to fan the flames of the conflict.
Investigators had previously concluded that the plane was hit by a Russian-made BUK missile system brought in from Russia and fired from territory in Ukraine held by Moscow-backed rebels. But they had stopped short of directly saying who pulled the trigger.
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