MOSCOW – The fatal Malaysian Airlines plane could not have been downed by a Buk-M1 missile from territories controlled by east Ukrainian militia because Russian radars would have pinged it, the deputy head of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency said Thursday.
“I would like to emphasize separately that, according to specialists, if a missile was launched from Zaroschinsky [under Kiev control], [Russian] radar stations would not have fixed the launch or the missile’s flight toward the aircraft. At the same time, if the missile was launched from the region of Snizhniy [under the control of east Donbass militias], as many in the West claim, then according to all of the experts and specialists, this would be reflected in the [southern Russian] Rostov radar locators,” Oleg Storchevoi said.
Russia has never pushed forward its version of the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine, but has only suggested taking all of its information into consideration, he added.Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
Kiev blamed the independence supporters in eastern Ukraine for shooting down the plane. However, local militia insisted that they did not possess weapons capable of bringing down an aircraft flying at 32,000 feet. Russia has repeatedly stressed the importance of a transparent international investigation into the tragedy.
Russia is the only country so far to reveal information it has on the MH17 plane crash, he said.
“I will remind you that Russia was the first and the only country that revealed its information. No other country has revealed its information on the disaster. There is no documentation from Ukraine in regard to conversations in the military sector on the day of the crash, no flight plans for military aviation, no information on the existence and expenditure of controlled rockets, no satellite images from the US.”
Russia is prepared to conduct metals analysis alongside specialists from any country of the rocket that brought down the MH17 plane in eastern Ukraine, he said.
“We have high quality equipment, including equipment to conduct metals analyses that can define the type of metal that the destructive elements were made of, as well as the exact make of the rocket. We are ready to conduct any type of investigation alongside specialists from any country. We have nothing to hide.”
The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency believes the calculations by specialists who published their conclusions into the downing of the MH17 plane with air-to-air missiles to be competent, the agency’s deputy head said.
“I saw a report was published by a group of aviation specialists who calculated the angles of damage, the size and the possible weight of the damaging elements and on this basis, they proved that the plane could have been hit only with a foreign air-to-air missile because Russian missiles don’t have these characteristics. I can say that the calculations that are given in the document are very competent. It’s obvious that these people have in-depth expert knowledge and experience in investigating disasters.”
Kiev did not close the airspace over eastern Ukraine because of greed and because it did not want to lose money, which led to the downing of the MH17 plane last year, Oleg Storchevoi noted.
“The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has already sent its disagreements and comments to the Netherlands. They obviously cannot publish these and they can’t be published until the final report comes out,” Oleg Storchevoi said.
“We will, of course, be ready to give detailed explanations after the publication of the document, moreover, since we have something to say in this regard. But during the time before the official publication of the report comes out, new additional proof that I hope would help in the objective investigation into the reasons for the Boeing catastrophe may appear,” Storchevoi said.
He said that no one has the right to comment on the report until it is published.The Dutch Safety Board is due to release a final report on the tragedy in October 2015.
Russia does not have full access to the materials in the investigation of the MH17 plane crash, Oleg Storchevoi said.
“Only careful work in studying the smallest of details can define what the reason was for the aircraft’s crash.”