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

Published 5:20 AM EDT, Tue September 27, 2016

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.

“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.

Timeline: Major plane crashes