MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Markin said that investigators had decided to release the name in light of the numerous media reports that were doubtful of the story's authenticity.
“The [key] witness is a Ukrainian, Evgeniy Agapov, who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force (Military Unit Number A4465).”
“[Agapov] is currently under state protection,” Markin added.
The man, whose name at the time was not disclosed, said that he had seen a Ukrainian air force Su-25 combat jet taking off from an airbase in eastern Dnepropetrovsk carrying air-to-air missiles and returning without them on the day of the MH17 crash.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a Buk 9М38-М1 guided missile fired from Ukrainian military-controlled territory, Russia's air defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey said in a press conference presenting its report on Tuesday.
The investigation into the crash that killed all 298 people on board is headed by the Dutch Safety Board. According to a September preliminary report, the plane was hit by multiple high-energy objects causing it to break up in mid-air. The final report on the crash is due by October 2015.
Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters have repeatedly blamed each other for the tragedy.