03:48 GMT19 May 2021
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    Russian Defense Ministry stated Friday that the country's officers mentioned in the report issued by Bellingcat had long retired from the Russian military.

    "It is worth mentioning that all speculations of the so-called 'investigators' are based on the old fake with the imitation of the radio interception of a conversation between unidentified persons, which was circulated by the Security Service of Ukraine on July 18, 2014 [the day after the disaster], the ministry said in a statement.

    "As for the officers mentioned in the Bellingcat report, they have long been dismissed from the military service. The Russian Defense Ministry has no information about their activities outside the armed forces," the statement said.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier in the day, commenting on the allegations against Russia that it was certainly not the Russian missile that downed the plane.

    READ MORE: MH17 Case: French Activist Explains Why He Feels Probe is Biased

    On Thursday, head of the Dutch National Police's Central Crime Investigation department Wilbert Paulissen said that the missile was launched by the Buk TELAR belonging to the Russian Armed Forces.

    At the same time, Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke stated that the investigation team would not disclose the evidence allegedly uncovered.

    Back in 2016, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team already presented the initial results of the criminal investigation into the crash, claiming that the airliner was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile launcher which was delivered from the "territory of the Russian Federation to Ukraine."

    However, Russia's Almaz-Antey company, which developed the Buk missile system, rejected the findings, saying that three simulations showed that the missile was launched from the Zaroshchenske area, which was controlled by the Ukrainian army at the time of the downing.

    MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, carrying 298 passengers, all of whom — including the crew — were killed when the plane crashed in Ukraine's region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014. Following the catastrophe, Ukraine delegated the investigation, announced the same year, to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB).


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