A report on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 -- which crashed in Ukraine last July, killing nearly 300 people -- suggests that the passenger jet was shot down by a Buk missile in an area near a Ukrainian military weapons station, Sputnik News reported. The analysis was authored by Russian military engineers and obtained by Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Flight 17 was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it came down July 17, 2014, in an area of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists outside the city of Donetsk. All 298 people on board died, including 193 from the Netherlands.
The Ukrainian government and separatist forces reportedly backed by Russia have blamed one another for the crash. Russian media previously suggested that the Ukrainian air force shot the plane down, while the Ukrainian government claimed separatists had used a missile to shoot down the jet.
"The most likely reason for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines' Boeing-777 (MH17) in the air was the impact of a 9М38М1 antiaircraft guided missile from a Buk-M1 missile system," the Russian military report says, as Sputnik News reported. Buk missiles are made by Russia.
The latest report appears to confirm what Dutch TV outlet RTL News reported in March, that Flight 17 had been brought down by a Buk missile. That report came ahead of a planned official announcement that investigators have scheduled for later this year. The RTL News report said it reached its conclusion after commissioning experts from various nations to analyze fragments from the plane wreckage. Metal bits recovered from the site and the impact on the plane were consistent with damage from a Buk missile system, RTL News reported.
A preliminary report from the Dutch-led investigation team in September found that a large amount of "high-energy objects" brought Flight 17 down, the Wall Street Journal reported. The official search for human remains at the crash site ended in late April.