The jetliner explosion investigation of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft shot down over Ukraine has been completed by the Dutch-led investigation team. They have concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system was transported to the Ukraine by Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night.
The Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH-17) was shot down two-years ago and killed all 298 crew and passengers on-board. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200ER and was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The aircraft debris was found 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Ukraine border near Torez in Donetsk Oblast.
The controversial incident brought a lot of tension between Russia and the Ukraine. Other countries largely blamed and criticized Russia. American Intelligence sources believe that the airplane was mistakenly shot down by pro-Russian insurgents. Russia has maintained that it had no role in shooting down the aircraft.
The investigation report was created by a team that combined members from the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia, and Ukraine. The team reviewed evidence and interviewed witnesses meticulously over the two-year investigation period. They checked cell phone records, interviewed locals, talked to intelligence agencies, and even reviewed social media accounts.
Buk SA-11 Missile System
The report does not name individuals but rather points towards the Russian military and government. It largely confirms that the government deployed the missile system and also covered-up its tracks afterwards.
The missile system used was a Buk SA-11. It is a self-propelled, medium-range, surface-to-air missile. The system was developed by the former Soviet Union and its successor the Russian Federation. It is designed to shoot-down fixed-wing, rotary aircraft, and UAVs (Drones). It can also be used to neutralize smart bombs and cruise missiles.
With the report out, we are yet to see the course of action that will be taken. Will there be an international tribunal? Will Russia face sanctions from other superpowers? It is definitely clear that this will affect the relationship between Russia, the European Union, the United States, and also with the United Nations.