Hennadiy Zubko: technical investigation says MH17 crash was a planned act of terror

Kyiv, October 13, 2015. Boeing-777-200 Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a Russian surface-to-air missile launched from a Buk-M1 anti-aircraft system not far from terrorist-occupied Snizhne, according to an official investigation by the Netherlands. It was a result of a terror attack from the territory occupied by the Russia-backed militants in the east Ukraine, says technical investigation conducted by the Dutch Safety Board.
Vice-Prime Minister, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Utilities of Ukraine, and Head of the Interagency Commission on investigation of the MH17 crash Hennadiy Zubko said the Dutch Safety Board investigation was open and transparent. According to him, the report contains a detailed analysis of the plane’s flight over terrorist-controlled territory and the reasons that caused the crash.
“Boeing-777-200 Malaysian Airlines was downed on July 17, 2014 in Donetsk region. A rescue operation was launched immediately,” said the minister referring to the course of events.
According to Zubko, a Government Commission was organized immediately to investigate the downing of the plane. At that time it was lead by the Vice-Prime Minister, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Utilities Volodymyr Hroysman. A 24/7 information headquarters opened in Kyiv on the basis of the State Emergency Service to conduct the corresponding search and rescue operations.
“On July 19, 2014 we accepted a proposal from the Kingdom of the Netherlands to create an international investigation workforce,” he said.
“On July 23, 2014 Ukraine made a decision to pass the investigation to the Dutch side to secure its objectivity and transparency,” stated Zubko. “Moreover, Ukraine signed several documents with the Netherlands, namely an Agreement between the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine and the Dutch Safety Board on passing Boeing-777-200 flight accident and an Agreement of International investigation protection mission. It will create the right conditions to support impartial, transparent and comprehensive investigation of the crash.”
The Vice-Prime Minister emphasized that experts from Ukraine, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, the USA, Belgium, Great Britain and the ICAO participated in the technical investigation.
“Ukraine supported the investigation on all levels. We supplied the Dutch side with all the available materials, information on voice conversations between flight controllers and the crew and helped gain access to the crash site. We also provided them with voice recordings of flight controllers over the period when Ukrainian planes were downed over the occupied territory,” he said.
“We secured the work of a special investigative taskforce for the plane crash. We also created an information and coordination center for victims’ families in Kharkiv, equipped with a special space to keep aircraft wreckage and provided for transportation of this wreckage and the victims’ bodies,” informed Zubko.
“We are aware of 33 cases when aircrafts were downed over conflict areas throughout world history. Nevertheless, unified regulations for flights safety have not been developed yet. While compiling the draft report, Ukraine elaborated and presented recommendations to improve the IСAO regulatory framework and prevent similar tragedies in the future. The Dutch side is to append them to their investigation report,” said Zubko.
“The Dutch experts conducted comprehensive analysis of the aircraft and reconstructed the plane from the wreckage, which was presented in the Netherlands on August 10-12 to international experts involved in the investigation. We are grateful to all sides of the investigation for their cooperation and highly value their expertise,” said the official.
He informed that the reconstructed plane fragments will be displayed at the Glze Rijen air base on October 14, 15 and 17.
“Ukraine also conducted a technical investigation and its results coincide with the conclusions of the Dutch side,” emphasized Zubko.
“Publishing a report on MH17’s downing is a first step on the long road to secure bringing all the culprits to responsibility,” assured the minister.
“Finishing the criminal investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team with participation of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Malaysia will follow, and it is expected at the beginning of 2016,” said Zubko.
“We express our deepest condolences to all those who lost family, friends and compatriots in this awful tragedy. This crash is a national tragedy for the Ukrainian people and it will remain in our hearts forever. Finding out all the circumstances of the atrocity, investigating its objective reasons and punishing the guilty is the duty we owe to the casualties and their families,” emphasized the minister.
The Vice Prime-Minister reminded that on July 17, 2015 the President formed a taskforce by his decree to introduce an international mechanism of bringing those guilty of downing the MH17 flight to justice. The taskforce is actively working in this direction.