Russia unveils new claim in MH-17 airline disaster

A Ukrainian military serviceman, who Russia says was based at an airfield in Ukraine, has said a Ukrainian SU-25 jet is responsible for the tragedy.

Russia unveils new claim in MH-17 airline disaster
World Bulletin / News Desk
 A Russian investigative committee claims it has a new explanation about who shot down the Malaysian airliner MH-17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

The committee said that an unnamed Ukrainian military serviceman, who was allegedly based at an airfield and later fled to Russian-held territory, saw a Ukrainian SU-25 ground attack plane take off from his airbase, armed with air-to-air missiles.

According to the anonymous eyewitness account, the same plane came back without its air-to-air armament.

"From the testimony of the witness, who is referred to by an alias to ensure his safety, the civilian aircraft Boeing 777 Flight MH-17 could have been brought down by a combat aircraft SU-25 of the Ukrainian Air Force, piloted by Ukrainian Air Force Captain Voloshin, on July 17 of this year," the committee's website said Wednesday.

According to the statement, the witness was being kept in protective custody. No details have been given regarding the witness' actual position in the military, nor has the committee given any explanation about how the witness could have come by the information he included in his testimony.

Shortly after the destruction of the Malaysian Airlines flight in July, the Russian media was quick to provide alternative explanations as to who shot the aircraft down. All of their claims put the blame on the Ukrainian military, rather than the pro-Russian separatists, in whose territory the plane was destroyed.The theories alternate between claims that the Ukrainian military brought down the airliner with a surface-to-air missile, and other claims which say a Ukrainian military plane was responsible.

When the MH-17 story broke, Russian satellite channel RT initially reported that the Ukrainian military had intentionally fired on the plane, believing it to be that of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Another story involved the Twitter account of a Spanish air traffic controller known only as "Carlos," who was allegedly training at Kiev's Boryspil airport the day MH-17 was shot down.

His tweets supposedly revealed that he had inside information pointing to Ukrainian responsibility for the attack, but a short time later the Twitter account went inactive and it was revealed that no Spanish or otherwise foreign citizen had been training in Boryspil's control tower, as only Ukrainian citizens were allowed to undergo training. 

On Nov. 15, Russian TV network First Channel aired a program which presented an alleged satellite photo that was said to show a Ukrainian MIG-29 jet shooting down the MH-17. The photo was quickly determined to be a poor-quality fabrication.  

The Boeing 777 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board, two-thirds of them Dutch.

The MH-17 crash followed the disappearance in March this year of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-370, which was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 237 passengers on board.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Aralık 2014, 17:08