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Putin denies Russian Federation responsible for MH17 downing

27 May 2018

Bodies, debris and burning wreckage rained out of the sky into a field of sunflowers near the rebel-held village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region, about 25 miles from the Russian border, where fighting had been raging for months.

Putin's comments to the heads of worldwide news agencies on the margins of the St Petersburg global Economic Forum, follow a statement by Johnson backing global demands for Russian Federation to be held accountable for the fate of MH17, the Malaysian Airlines flight downed over war-torn eastern Ukraine almost four years ago killing all 298 people on board.

They may now move towards submitting the complex dossier to an worldwide judge or organisation, it added.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said he had spoken to Dutch counterpart Stef Blok and that the Netherlands "have practically no doubt that the BUK came from Russia".

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop called for global support for the Dutch-Australian legal initiative.

The research group also said Ivannikov "coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russia separatists", and contingents of a "private army" from "Wagner group" - a Russian paramilitary organization reportedly associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and close associate of President Vladimir Putin. I asked him about facts proving these claims.

Lavrov said he had been informed by a Dutch minister that "they have practically no doubt that the BUK [missile] came from Russian Federation".

"If our partners [an apparent reference to the Netherlands] decided even in this case of a greatest human tragedy, the death of hundreds of people, to speculate on it for achieving their political goals, I leave it on their conscience". Dutch and Australian emergency workers found missile fragments and detritus from the Boeing 777 that were later used to identify the weapon.

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On Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Dutch investigation did not include any Russian participation, but did include Ukrainian representatives.

The missile launcher was operated by the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade and fired from a farm near Pervomaisk, a town in eastern Ukraine, the investigators said.

Investigators on Thursday said the missile that shot down the plane was sacked from a missile launcher of Russia's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, but stopped short of saying who actually fired the fatal shot.

The vehicles had serial numbers and other markings that were unique to the 53rd Brigade, an anti-aircraft unit based in the western Russian city of Kursk, they said.

Prosecutors have said that the BUK missile system was sacked from the Ukraine village of Pervomaysk and later returned to Russian territory.

Investigators also displayed parts of the engine casing and exhaust system of a Buk 9M38 series missile recovered from eastern Ukraine and showed photos of a unique serial number on the missile.

Russia, on Thursday, issued a statement denying all responsibility for the air disaster, in which almost 300 people died.

Putin said that Moscow could not fully trust Dutch findings about the incident because Moscow had not been involved in the investigation.

Putin denies Russian Federation responsible for MH17 downing