Report Shows Missile Detonated Near Cockpit Downed MH17
By: Erin Johnson, Xiro Xone News October 13, 2015
A Dutch report has revealed that a Russian-made missile exploding outside the cockpit is what brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in July 2014.
The Dutch Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra said the warhead fit a Buk rocket system, referring to Russian military technology. But Russian officials who participated in the investigation said it was not possible to confirm the warhead or type of system, according to Joustra.
Joustra said that “none of the aviation parties involved” — including Ukrainian authorities who failed to close off the airspace — “recognized the risks posed to civil aviation by the armed conflict on the ground.” “He said the parties viewed the conflict from a military perspective and nobody considered the risk to civil aviation”.
“As a precaution, there was sufficient reason for Ukraine authorities to close the airspace above the eastern part of the country” where armed conflict was taking place , Joustra said at Gilze-Rijen airbase in the Netherlands.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said of those who took down the plane: “We must do the utmost so that the people who did it will not avoid … punishment.”
Rutte added that the investigation has had “an enormous impact” on the Netherlands’ relationship with Russia.
“What I would really like to do is to call on the Russian authorities to respect and also give full cooperation to this report and the continued investigation that the criminal prosecutors are doing,” he told reporters Tuesday.
The Boeing 777 was heading from Amsterdam to Malaysia when it was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Ukrainian territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
Relatives of the crash victims were being informed of the findings ahead of the report’s release, the Dutch Safety Board said in a statement.
It said the report focused on four themes: “The causes of the crash, the issue of flying over conflict areas, the reasons why Dutch surviving relatives had to wait for two to four days for confirmation from the Dutch authorities that their loved ones had been on the aeroplane, and lastly the question to what extent the occupants of flight MH17 consciously experienced the crash. ”
The board said its investigation was not concerned with blame or liability, which fell to a separate criminal investigation.
The safety board's chairman told the press conference that because of the armed conflict in Ukraine, there would have been "sufficient reason to close the airspace as a precaution" but "the Ukraine authorities failed to do so."