Russia says MH17 missile was in Ukrainian hands

Audio said to be of Ukrainian soldiers discussing 2014 downing of plane also played for reporters by Russian officials

Russia says MH17 missile was in Ukrainian hands

Russia is pointing to alleged Ukrainian involvement in the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines flight in July 2014.

This May a team of international investigators had implicated Russia in the crash of MH17, which was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

While the international team had pointed to the BUK missile system used as evidence, Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday cited the missile used by serial number, saying it had been in the possession of the Ukrainian military forces since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Gen. Nikolay Parshin, head of the Defense Ministry's General Missile and Artillery Department, told reporters in Moscow that the missile, found on site of the crash, was produced in the Soviet Union in 1986 and delivered to a military base in Ternopol in the Ukrainian SSR.

Parshin said after the USSR fell, the base and all its weapons passed into the ownership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov also played a recording said to be of "intercepted talks of Ukrainian soldiers.”

"We will bring down one more Malaysian Boeing," says a voice on the recording identified by Konashenkov as Ukrainian Armed Forces Col. Ruslan Grinchak, who at that time headed the 164th Ukrainian Armed Forces radio engineering brigade, responsible for the airspace, including in southeastern Ukraine.

Konashenkov also analyzed a video, released earlier by the Dutch-led investigation team, arguing in detail that this evidence of the BUK missile system showed signs of tampering and editing.

The Dutch-led investigation, formed in 2014, also includes representatives from Belgium, Australia, Ukraine, and Malaysia. Russia's bid to have its own representatives on the team was refused.

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