Russian missile maker: MH17 shot down by old Ukrainian missile

Russian BUK missile launchers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vitaliy Ragulin)Russian BUK missile launchers (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vitaliy Ragulin)

Russian missile manufacturer Almaz-Antey held a press conference on Tuesday morning in which they presented the findings of their own investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disaster with flight MH17. According to the missile maker, flight MH17 was shot down by an older model of missile, which the Ukrainian army has in its possession.

This press conference in Moscow was held several hours before the Dutch Safety Board is set to present the final report of its investigation in the Netherlands.

Almaz-Antey carried out a test in which they fired a BUK missile at a Russian made plane. The findings of this test as well as their own investigation into the MH17 disaster was presented at the press conference, according to the Volkskrant's life blog of the conference.

Ian Novikov, directer of Almaz-Antey began by saying that his company is involved in the investigation because of false allegations made and the fact that the Dutch investigation is at odds with their own research.

The Dutch investigation stated that the missile hit MH17 from the front, according to the missile makers. This would mean that the both sides of the plane would have been damaged. Their own investigation showed that only the left side of the plane was touched.

According to Mikhail Malyshevsky, engineer at Almaz-Antey, most of the damage to MH17 was done to the left side of the cockpit. This would indicate that the missile hit the plane from the left side. The rocket exploded 20 meters from the left side of MH17's engine and the shrapnel hit the plane at an angle parallel to the plane.

This leads Novikov to believe that the missile was fired from the village of Zarotsjsjenskoje, which is located in Ukrainian territory. His reasoning is as follows: if the missile was fired from a separatist-controlled area, the plane would not have had damage to the left wing and engine. According to the Volkskrant, the Dutch investigation showed that the missile was fired from Snezjnoje in rebel territory.

When they fired their BUK missile at a plane during their test, it resulted in 7,000 pieces of shrapnel. According to the missile makers, this would indicate that the missile used to shoot down MH17 was of an older design than the missile the Dutch investigation claims was used. Novikov stated that the missile used was a 9M38, which was produced by the Soviet Union. He also stated that the Ukrainian army has these types of missiles in its possession. He did not deny that a BUK-missile system was used to fire the missile.