Malaysia Airlines MH17 was downed by Russian-made missile

(AGI) Amsterdam, Oct 13 - Dutch investigators who probed thedowning of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH17 in eastern Ukrainelast year have concluded that the plane was struck by aRussian-made Buk missile. The land-air missile hit the leftside of the Boeing 777's cockpit, killing many of the 298passengers instantly but possibly leaving many others consciousas the aircraft plummeted. The Dutch Safety Board published itsfindings on Tuesday and reignited tensions between Kiev andMoscow. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blamedRussia's security service, claiming they aimed to shoot down acivilian plane. Moscow replicated immediately, with

(AGI) Amsterdam, Oct 13 - Dutch investigators who probed thedowning of Malaysia Airlines' flight MH17 in eastern Ukrainelast year have concluded that the plane was struck by aRussian-made Buk missile. The land-air missile hit the leftside of the Boeing 777's cockpit, killing many of the 298passengers instantly but possibly leaving many others consciousas the aircraft plummeted. The Dutch Safety Board published itsfindings on Tuesday and reignited tensions between Kiev andMoscow. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blamedRussia's security service, claiming they aimed to shoot down acivilian plane. Moscow replicated immediately, with DeputyForeign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stating: "[The] attempt to makea biased conclusion, in essence to carry out a political order,is obvious." The maker of Buk missiles, Almaza-Antey, contendedthat the 'incriminated' missile model has not been part of theRussian forces' ordnance for four years. On top of theirreport, the Dutch investigators also produced a videoillustrating the dynamics of the incident step-by-step, andshowed journalists at the Dutch military base of Gilze-Rijen areconstruction of the downed plane, with its fragments placedon a metallic support. The chairman of the Dutch Safety Board,Tjibbe Joustra, criticised Kiev for not closing the air spaceover eastern Ukraine while the conflict with pro-Russianseparatists was taking place. "We have concluded as aprecaution there was sufficient reason for the Ukrainianauthorities to close the air space above the eastern part oftheir country," he said during a press conference. Some 160commercial flights were flying over the area that day, thereport noted. Based on the investigators' simulations, themissile was fired from an undefined location around 320 kmsouth-east of Grabovo, an area which is mostly controlled bypro-Russian separatists. The Malaysian Airlines craft split intwo upon impact, with the cockpit and floor of the businessclass area separating from the plane's main structure andplummeting immediately. The rest of the craft continued itsflight for some 8 km, crashing 90 seconds later, with itsfragments spreading over an area of 50 square kilometres. Theinvestigators were not able to exclude the possibility thatsome of the passengers were aware of what was happening. "Theimpact was entirely unexpected, which means the people werebarely able to comprehend the situation in which they foundthemselves. There was hardly any time for a consciousresponse," they stated in the report. However, they added,"depending on variables such as the occupants' location in thecabin at the moment of impact, the factors were not the samefor all of the occupants". They explained that "a number ofoccupants immediately sustained severe injuries" due to themissile's impact, "probably causing death". "For others," theystated, "the exposure caused reduced awareness orunconsciousness within moments". (AGI). .