Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Was Shot Down by Russian Missile Launcher, Investigation Finds

Investigators will appeal to the public on Thursday to assist in their inquiries into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago over eastern Ukraine

AFP

Investigators announced Thursday that the missile launcher used to shoot down flight MH17 was Russian army - specifically Russia's 53rd anti-Aircraft Brigade.

Russia's defense ministry meanwhile said it had nothing to do with the incident, Interfax news agency reported.

Investigators will appeal to the public on Thursday to assist in their inquiries into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago over eastern Ukraine.

The airliner was shot down with a Russian-made missile on July 17, 2014, with 298 people onboard, two-thirds of them Dutch, over territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

The Joint Investigation Team, comprising the authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine said it would give an update on its work but would not identify suspects.

The Dutch Safety Board concluded in an October 2015 report that the Boeing 777 was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile, killing all passengers and crew, who came from 17 countries, including 38 Australians.

Dutch prosecutors said in September 2016 that 100 people of interest had been identified in the investigation, while Australian and Malaysian officials expressed hope that suspects would be made public in 2017.

Indictments have yet to be released and the suspects are likely to be tried in absentia in the Netherlands after Russia used its veto to block a U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to create an international tribunal.