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  • Dutch: Russian-Made Missile Downed MH17

    Dutch investigators concluded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile from an area mostly held by pro-Russian rebels, they announced Tuesday.

    A Buk missile fired from eastern Ukraine struck the plane, killing all 298 people on board, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) concluded in its final and highly anticipated report on the 2014 crash, reported The Wall Street Journal. It’s the first time investigators have publicly credited the long-held assumption a Russian-made missile downed the plane, although the multi-national team stopped short of assigning blame.

    DSB chairman Tjibbe Joustra said figuring out who fired the missile is outside the scope of what has been a 15-month investigation, but later told Dutch reporters the missile was fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    “If you really want to determine the location, you should take soil samples and examine witnesses,” he said according to The Guardian, but added: “It is an area where pro-Russia rebels wrested control.”

    The missile exploded within a meter of the plane, causing the cockpit and floor of the business class section to break away instantly, Joustra said Tuesday, speaking in front of a reconstruction of the plane. The rest of the plane continued flying for another 60 to 90 seconds before crashing, and debris was scattered over about 19 square miles.

    The report also found the disaster site was tampered with in what may have been attempts to cover up the cause of the crash, such as the removal of missile fragments from the captain’s body and the disappearance of pieces of wreckage that had been photographed right after the crash.

    Russia blames Ukraine for the crash, and its deputy foreign minister called the report “biased” Tuesday.

    The DSB released a crash simulation video.

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