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MH17 Crash Four Years on: Probe Continues, While No Solid Proof Presented So Far

© Sputnik / Andrei SteninRescuers seen at the site of the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine. File photo
Rescuers seen at the site of the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine. File photo - Sputnik International
July 17 commemorates the fourth anniversary of the MH17 plane crash near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, which killed all 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers on board.

Accusations Against Russia

Shortly after Malaysian Airlines' Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk on July 17, 2014, Russian was accused of being behind the tragedy.

However, Russia's Almaz-Antey rejected the allegations, saying that three simulations showed that the missile was launched from the Zaroshchenskoye area, which was controlled by Ukraine's army at the time of the downing.

READ MORE: Timing of New MH17 Accusations Clearly Linked to FIFA World Cup — Journalis

The Russian Defense Ministry, in turn, obtained information that a radar of the Ukrainian military's Buk-M1 anti-aircraft battery was activated a day before the MH17 crash and that the jet could have been attacked from several positions in the Donetsk region.

Moscow has repeatedly urged Western countries to allow Russian representatives to join the investigation team, but to no avail.

READ MORE: Russian MoD: Missiles Shown By MH17 Investigators Were Decommissioned After 2011

President Vladimir Putin said that although there are different versions of the MH17 crash, "there is nothing that inspires our confidence as final conclusions, and there will be no such a version without our full participation in the investigation."

MH17 Plane Crash Probe

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Ukraine and Malaysia, announced in 2016 that the MH17 airliner was allegedly downed by a Buk missile system, which was brought from Russia and after the crash returned there.

The Russian Defense Ministry criticized the JIT's report for using unreliable information provided by the Ukrainian side.

READ MORE: Investigation of MH17 Crash in Ukraine Biased — Russian Foreign Ministry

In 2018, the JIT published an expanded version of its report alleging that the Buk missile, which downed the MH17 flight, allegedly belonged to the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade stationed in the Russian city of Kursk.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the allegations, saying that the missile's engine was manufactured in 1986 and used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

READ MORE: US Won't Disclose MH17 Crash Info If Truth Runs Counter to its Stance — Putin

Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke, for his part, told Channel NewsAsia that "there is no conclusive evidence to point at Russia under the JIT evidence" and that "any further actions" should be based on "conclusive evidence."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in turn, said that Russia has repeatedly provided international investigators with documentary evidence regarding the MH17 crash, but they have been ignored.

Kiev Responsible for MH17 Crash – Lawyer

In July 2017, Elmar Giemulla, a lawyer representing the relatives of the MH17 crash victims,  filed a lawsuit to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) without waiting for the results of the JIT investigation.

Speaking to Sputnik, he stressed that "Kiev knew that it does not control the territory in eastern Ukraine, which is why it should have closed the airspace in the area."

READ MORE: Lavrov: Moscow Has No Info About Data Used in Bellingcat’s Report on MH17 Crash

"Kiev failed to do so and as a result, 298 people were killed," Giemulla pointed out.

He was echoed by Dutch political activist Anneke de Laaf who told Sputnik that the JIT is actually concentrated on a single scenario for the MH17 disaster instead of looking into all the possibilities.

"What happens with the JIT is that they said there were four scenarios and they abandoned three of the scenarios — that it was shot down by an airplane, the other scenario that it was shot down by Ukraine and about these two they said 'we are not investigating these scenarios anymore.' So they just stopped looking into it. They openly said … 'we are only looking at one option,'" she noted.

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