MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) – The United States has indirectly admitted that Kiev’s air defense systems were present near Donetsk when the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed, thus confirming the data of Russian satellites, a senior source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
"In his statement, the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest implicitly acknowledged that Ukraine’s air defense systems had been present in the Donetsk area, although he claimed they had not been operating," the source said, commenting on Earnest’s words that the missile that hit the flight MH17 was launched from the area controlled by the militia.
The source stressed that the United States thus confirmed the authenticity of the data, provided by the images from Russian satellites at a special briefing of the Russian Defense Ministry on July 21. It was stated during that briefing that Ukraine’s air defense forces had four Buk-M1 missile systems near the city of Donetsk.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 killing all 298 people on board.
Kiev authorities accuse independence supporters of downing the plane whereas local militia leaders insist they do not have the necessary technology to shoot down a target flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet.
On Friday, a source from one of the Ukrainian defense departments told RIA Novosti that a system mix up during a Ukrainian air defense units’ rocket launch exercise could be the cause of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash.