An inquiry into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 found that the passenger jet was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a Dutch newspaper. The news comes ahead of the final report being published by the Dutch Safety Board later Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey said that its independent investigation contradicts the findings of the Dutch probe into the crash that killed 298 people on July 17, 2014. More than 450 days have passed since Flight MH17 went down in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. The Dutch investigation did not look into who was responsible for the tragedy, but focused on the causes of the crash.
"Today we can say for sure that the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by a Buk missile 9M38 from direction Zaroshenskoye," Almaz-Antey CEO Yan Novikov reportedly said Tuesday, during a briefing in Moscow, without specifying what was in the report. "During the experiment it became perfectly clear that, if MH17 was brought down by a BUK-M1 missile, that was the 9M38 missile, which has no strike elements shaped as I-beam."
The Russian manufacturer's probe also stated that MH17 was hit by a missile from the village of Zaroshchenskoye controlled by Ukrainian troops, Novikov said.
"The results of the [second] experiment totally dismissed the results of the Dutch commission’s on the type and site of the launch," Novikov said, according to Russian News Agency TASS. "Today we can state that if the Malaysian Boeing was downed by a Buk missile system then it was hit by a 9M38 missile from Zaroshchenskoye."
Ukraine and Western governments have blamed Russian-backed separatists for downing the plane, most likely by using an SA-11 surface-to-air missile system known as a Buk. Russia has denied allegations of shooting down the aircraft and had used its veto power at the U.N. in July to block a resolution needed to establish a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the crash.
In July, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine put forward a joint proposal to set up an independent tribunal to "try those responsible for crimes" connected to the tragedy. MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down.
A preliminary report of the investigation into the crash by Dutch investigators, released in September 2014, stated that the jetliner broke apart in mid-air after being hit by “a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”