Kyiv, 19 July 2014 – Three Russian “BUK-M1” surface-to-air missile systems were located on Ukrainian territory controlled by terrorists at the time when Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 was shot down. One of the systems, operated by a crew of 3 Russian citizens, fired the missile that hit MH17 airliner from a location near the town of Snizhne in Donetsk region.
The Head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), Counterintelligence Department, Vitaliy Nayda, told journalists that they have uncovered evidence of this during the course of their investigation, at a briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Mr. Nayda, Ukraine’s Security Service has photo materials proving that two “BUK-M1” missile systems crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia at 2:00 AM on 18 July 2014, the day after the act of terrorism took place One of them had a full set of 4 missiles, the other – 3 missiles. At 4:00 AM, 4 transport vehicles crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia, one of them was carrying “BUK-M1” command vehicle.
Phone conversations between terrorists, intercepted by Ukraine’s Security Service, confirm that at least one “BUK-M1” system had previously arrived into Ukraine from the Russian Federation, with a crew of three Russian military personnel. The team of three was meant to join the convoy of military vehicles moving towards Pervomaysk. Ukraine’s Counterintelligence Chief demonstrated a photo of the “BUK-M1” missile system on streets of Torez, a city in the Donetsk region, near the place where the Boeing went down.
Mr. Nayda also said that the SBU has evidence that a missile was launched at 16:20 on 17 July 2014, from an area near Torez, not far from Snizhne, and that was the missile that shot down the passenger plane. The exact launch spot is not being revealed at the moment while the investigation is ongoing.
Ukrainian investigators are trying to get access to the missile’s launch point as well as to the plane’s crash site, however terrorists are preventing them access.
“Russia is trying to cover its tracks and claim that another party is responsible for the act of terrorism. Cynical propaganda in mass media is being used to achieve that,” noted Mr. Nayda.
According to Mr. Nayda, terrorists planned to hide bodies of the killed. When militants discovered that they had downed a passenger airliner, they tried to remove the bodies, driving them away from the site on trucks. However due to the large number of bodies, the terrorists abandoned this plan.
Ukrainian investigators are sharing all evidence they come across with international agencies that are conducting independent investigations, and vice versa
International and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are calling on Russia to provide them with information on the identities of the Russian crew that was staffing the “BUK-M1,” and the opportunity to interrogate these military personnel.
Mr. Nayda emphasized that Russia is obligated to provide all information to further the investigation. “We will find all the answers once we arrest the terrorists responsible for this act of terror, especially Bes, who directed the operation, and the Russian military personnel who carried out orders and launched the rocket,” said Mr. Nayda.