On May 25, the Russian Ministry of Defense released an official statement commenting on allegations of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) about the Russian alleged involvement in the MH17 flight shot down over eastern Ukraine.
Минобороны России проводит анализ видеоматериалов, представленных на пресс-конференции голландской объединенной…
The Russian MOD stated that a missile fragment allegedly used in the crash could not have belonged to the Russian Armed Forces. According to the Russian MOD, the serial number marked on the missile’s engine revealed that it was produced in 1986 in the Soviet Union. However, the Russian MOD emphasized that all missiles produced that year were written off back in 2011.
“The service life limit of the missile, which was demonstrated by the JIT last Thursday, was 2011 (1986 + 25), after which all missiles of this year were removed, decommissioned and sent for recycling,” the statement reads. “A manufacturer can extend its service life for another five years, but not more than twice.”
“After 25-year operation, all the Buk missiles are to be decommissioned and disposed.”
The only reason why the JIT is concealing intentionally the origin of the 1986 rocket engine is that it more than likely belongs to the Ukrainian armed forces — #RusMoD
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) May 25, 2018
The Russian MOD pointed out that this missile “more than likely” belongs to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which have received “no new anti-aircraft missile” since the delivery of twenty Buk missile systems after the USSR collapse in 1991. Russia received and receives new necessary weapons from the sole manufacturer located in Russia.
“The engine fragment that the Joint Investigation Team demonstrated last Thursday indicates that the cutoff date for keeping those missiles in operation was 2011… After that, all missiles from that year of manufacture were withdrawn from service, written off and scrapped. However, all this unequivocally applies only to Russian air defense units, which received and still receive the necessary weapons in working condition from the sole manufacturer located in Russia,” the ministry added.
On May 24, JIT presented an update on their investigation of the plane crash in eastern Ukraine in 2014. JIT concluded that the plane had been destroyed by a Russian Buk missile:
“The BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.”
Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized that Moscow had shown its willingness to provide all the necessary help, but it had not been invited to take part in the probe, TASS reported.
“I want to repeat the president’s words to you – the investigation was carried out in the Netherlands, this investigation team did not include the Russian side, though the Ukrainian side was represented,” Peskov pointed out.
On July 17, 2014 all 298 people on board of the Boeing 777 died when it crashed in a mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Ukraine, the US and their allies accused Russia of being behind the incident.