Ahead of MH17 report, Russia says if plane shot down, Ukraine pulled trigger

Story highlights

  • Russia: Radar data shows missile not fired from rebel-held territory
  • Ukraine has not responded to the allegation
  • Report on investigation's findings to be released Tuesday

(CNN)Just days before the release of a report into the investigation into the fate of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, Russia's defense ministry released radar data which, it alleges, shows that if the plane was shot down, it was done so by Ukrainian forces.

At a news conference Monday, the head of Russian air and Space forces, Andrei Koban, said that analysis of the data refuted the widely-accepted conclusion that the aircraft was shot down by a BUK missile from within territory held by Russian-backed rebels.
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"The fact that Ukrainian authorities have still not published the information they have, we can concluded that if it was a BUK that was launched at the (Malaysian Airlines flight), this must have been launched from a location with the Ukrainian forces," Koban said.
    Ukrainian officials have not responded to the allegation.
    At a news conference timed to preempt the release of interim results from the Koint Investigation Team's criminal investigation, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov displayed radar data from July 17, 2014, which he said showed aircraft movement and the presence of Ukrainian air defense systems.
    MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine that day. All 298 people on board were killed, including 196 Dutch. Last year the Dutch Safety Board concluded that flight MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile.
    The Joint Investigation Team, headed by the Dutch Public Prosecutor, will make the results known in a meeting which can also be attended by relatives of the victims Tuesday.
    According to investigation leader Wim de Bruin, results released will include exactly what type of weapon was used and from where it was fired.

    Russia: Ukraine hiding 'true picture'

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    Konashenkov said that his government refused to accept "contradictory data on fragments, the type of missile and the location of the presume(d) launch of the missile." He added that the ministry would share the data with the Dutch government and its investigators.
    The spokesman alluded that Kiev's refusal to release its own data suggests that the missile had been launched from Kiev-held territory, and that if it had been fired from rebel-held territory, it would have been spotted by Russian radar.
    "It is no coincidence that the Ukraine government has been hiding information that could help us establish the true picture, hiding it from public, from the victims' families and other governments," he said.
    "Being in Ukrainian (airspace), MH17 was being controlled and, supervised and monitored by Ukraine air traffic controls and air force that were controlling the section of airspace. Yet until this day, Kiev has not published information on the location of its own BUK anti-air missile systems."
    He referenced a 2001 crash, alleging that a Russian civilian jet was "shot down by Ukraine air defense forces by mistake.
    "Kiev refused to blame on its own military for the crash, it is the same way it behaves today."
    In July, Malaysia Airlines settled damages with the families of most of the passengers killed on flight MH17, an attorney representing some of the families confirmed.