College students gather around candles forming the shape of an airplane, during a candlelight vigil for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at a university in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, China, July 19, 2014. Reuters/Stringer

A Ukrainian military pilot, who was accused by the Kremlin of shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, has killed himself at his Mykolaiv home near the Black Sea on Sunday, authorities said.

Capt. Vladyslav Voloshyn, 29, who had claimed to be the victim of a smear campaign by Moscow, was at his apartment when he reportedly fatally shot himself with a pistol, which had no license number, Ukrainian police said.

His wife said that she heard a gunshot coming from his room and immediately called the police. Medics arrived at the home and transported Voloshyn to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead, authorities said.

Police have described his death as a “suicide,” but it is still being investigated under the “premeditated murder” section of the Ukrainian penal code, a BBC report citing local media said.

His family also told authorities that the fighter pilot was recently battling depression. A military service pistol was recovered from the scene and it is being examined.

Voloshyn had been in charge of Mykolaiv airport after he resigned from the air force. He was the recipient of a medal for bravery, and had flown 33 combat missions in a Su-25 ground attack jet against Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, according to the BBC.

He had maintained that Russia's allegations that he was involved in the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014 — en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur — was a lie.

Local workers transport a piece of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 wreckage at the site of the plane crash near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Nov. 20, 2014. Reuters/Antonio Bronic

Besides accusing Voloshyn of the crime, Russian authorities also came up with another theory — that a Ukrainian Buk missile, which had been moved from Russia into eastern Ukraine, had destroyed the MH17 flight, a Boeing 777 jet, killing 298 people. Dutch authorities and other independent experts, however, rejected Russia's claims, saying evidence pointed to a Buk fired by pro-Russian rebels or a Russian military unit.

Speaking to Sputnik News about the fighter pilot’s suspected suicide, Ukrainian politics expert Bogdan Bezpalko said that keeping Ukraine’s version aside, "one cannot help but think that the other side may have eliminated him as a dangerous witness who could have lifted the veil of secrecy over the downing of MH17, which would subsequently strengthen Russia's position."

According to the political scientist, "it's quite obvious that it was not in Russia's interest to shoot down this plane, and that all this was a provocation directed against our country."

Yuriy Butusov, a Ukrainian journalist, who knew Voloshyn well, commended the pilot after the news of his death, as an ideal airman who had fought bravely against the Russian-backed rebels. Butusov expressed astonishment over his death.

"Dear Vlad, how can this be?! Why?!" he said. "He didn’t let himself break down, he wasn’t depressed at all — he always acted as an exemplary officer."

According to Butusov, the fighter pilot had bombed Russian paratroops during the battle of Ilovaisk in August 2014, a battle considered to be one of the bloodiest in the Donbass conflict. Over 300 Ukrainian soldiers were reportedly killed while fighting there.

Butusov added that Voloshyn had been shot down but ultimately taken out from his Su-25, and reached Ukrainian lines despite being severely injured.

"I didn't hear him speak of any enemies or unresolved problems," he said, adding that the deceased fighter pilot was happily married and is survived by his wife, a boy and two-year-old girl, according to the BBC.