A new BBC documentary on the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 sheds light on new evidence that suggests the Boeing plane was downed by a Ukrainian fighter jet. A senior Russian lawmaker praised the documentary, which will be broadcast on BBC Two on May 3.
The documentary — "Conspiracy Files: Who Shot Down MH17?" — will feature accounts from eyewitnesses that will highlight the possibility the plane was downed by a Ukrainian fighter jet rather than a surface-to-air Buk missile. The Dutch Safety Board’s final report on the crash — released last October — stated that a surface-to-air missile exploded near the left side of the passenger plane bringing down the aircraft, killing all 298 people on board.
"There will be a BBC film that can bring closer the truth on the downed Boeing. The false masks start coming off," Alexey Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account.
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 incident.
BBC issued a statement about the documentary saying: “There are eyewitness accounts of other aircraft seen flying next to MH17 close to impact.
“To further fuel the conspiracies, Russia and Ukraine blame each other but both countries are unable to provide all the critical radar data from that day," the statement said. “Family members do not trust the official explanations and there is a long way to go to bring about justice for the victims. This program tracks down eyewitnesses, and speaks with secret intelligence sources to try to sort fact from fiction.”
A preliminary report 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.”