Russian military unit shot down MH17

The plane was shot down in 2014 over Ukraine

The plane was shot down in 2014 over Ukraine

Wilbert Paulissen, head of the crime squad of the Netherlands' national police, said the missile was sacked from Russia's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade.

Prosecutors said they have presented their findings to Moscow and are seeking answers, but so far have not received a response. Photographs, videos and witness testimony traced the progress of this launcher in a convoy from Kursk to the Ukrainian border in June 2014, and it was photographed again near the launch site on the day of the catastrophe.

Westerbeke said investigators were not yet ready to identify individual suspects publicly or to issue indictments, but that when they do he expects cooperation, or a firm global political response.

Of the 298 people of more than 30 nationalities killed, 196 were Dutch, 42 Malaysian and 27 Australian.

The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

A report completed in October 2015 concluded that the Boeing 777 was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile which was sacked over territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the war-torn Donbas region of Ukraine.

In the weeks before MH17 was shot down, the separatists had shot down a number of Ukrainian military planes over east Ukraine, and intercepted communications between separatist fighters made it clear that they initially believed they had hit another military plane, not a civilian liner.

After a series of Russian media claims of Ukrainian responsibility were all shown to be false, Moscow appears to have settled on the idea that it was "impossible to tell" which side was responsible.

The team's "serious conclusions" meant "we now have more clarity with respect to the downing of MH17, in particular for the next of kin", Blok added.

3 of 7 A stack of preliminary reports by the Dutch Safety Board on the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is displayed on September 9, 2014, at the board's headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) hold a press conference on the ongoing investigation. "That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian army was dispatched and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be of grave global concern", she said.

Fred Westerbeke, the chief prosecutor, said the investigation was in its last phase but could not say when he would be ready to file indictments. The missile system is technically complex, and Western diplomats have long said they doubted that the rebels would have had the technical expertise to target the high-flying jet.

In it, they say the FIFA World Cup about to get under way in Russia was under a "shadow" in light of the unsolved air tragedy and appealed to the Russian people.

Wilbert Paulissen of the Dutch National Police said at a news conference in the Netherlands on Thursday that investigators "scrutinized images" and established a "type of fingerprint" of where the missile came from. He said also the team's investigation is not yet complete.

"We are discussing these findings with our partners and considering our options".

In 2015, Russian Federation vetoed a United Nations resolution seeking to create an global tribunal to prosecute those who shot down the plane.

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