The missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014 belonged to a Russian brigade, international investigators say.
At a press conference in The Hague on Thursday, Dutch police and prosecutors showed photo and video evidence they said proved that they had identified the specific BUK system responsible for shooting down the plane.
They said they now had “legal and convincing evidence which will stand in a courtroom” that the BUK system involved came from the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in Kursk in western Russia.
For the first time, the Dutch-led team said the missile came from a Russian brigade based in the city of Kursk.
Wilbert Paulissen, a Dutch official from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), told reporters: “All the vehicles in a convoy carrying the missile were part of the Russian armed forces.”
He said investigators had traced the convoy to Russia’s 53rd brigade.
The incident occurred at the height of the conflict between government troops and pro-Russian separatists.
Chief prosecutor says “we’ve gained a lot of proof and a lot of evidence but we’re not ready yet (to prosecute). We’re entering the last phase of the investigation.” Today they’ve connected downing of jet and death of 298 people to Russian military.
All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.