A Netherlands-led team of self-appointed prosecutors gathering information on the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 today reported that they have “conclusive evidence” that the missile was fired by a Russian-made Buk 9M38 missile system, and from a village believed to be under the control of Eastern Ukrainian rebels at the time.
Exactly what this ultimately means isn’t totally clear, in as much as Russia makes the Buk missiles so obviously any Buk missile originally came from Russia. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, however, insisted that this report meant that Russia was 100% directly responsible for the attack.
Yet Russia says they have no evidence any Buk missiles crossed into Ukraine from Russia during the rebellion. This might suggest that the missiles were part of Ukraine’s own substantial arsenal of the weapons, left over from the Soviet era.
Russian officials also threw doubt on the findings’ objectivity, noting that the “evidence” overwhelmingly was secret claims from Ukrainian spy agencies and things the prosecutors found on the Internet. They claimed the conclusions were largely arbitrary, and designed to assign blame
As if to underscore Russia’s complaints, the prosecutors also released the names of a pair of “Russian-speaking men” during the assessment, while conceding that they have “no evidence” that the two are related at all to MH17. They appear thus to be bringing this up apropos of nothing, and without noting that Russian is the primary language spoken in eastern Ukraine.
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