28 MAY 2018
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A surface-to-air missile belonging to the Russian armed forces shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, a Boeing B777-200ER, over Ukraine in July 2014, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) confirmed last week.
It is the second Malaysia Airlines accident-related story to emerge in two weeks, following speculation that MH370, which vanished over the Indian Ocean in March 2014, was deliberately flown into the sea (BTN last week).
On MH17, JIT issued an update on the investigation saying the Buk (SA-11 “Gadfly”) missile that brought down the aircraft was fired from a transport vehicle belonging to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile brigade, based at Kursk.
Investigators said they used imagery and video posted online to track the transporter’s route from Kursk to a city near the Ukrainian border before the incident, as well as its return across the border afterward.
The JIT finding supports a report from the Bellingcat independent group of journalists, which also named the 53rd brigade in February 2016. Investigators are now asking for information about the transporter crew and their orders.
JIT says is in the “last phase of the investigation.” Any court case is likely to be tried in the Netherlands because most of the 298 people killed on MH17 were Dutch.
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