Russian Buk missile did bring down Flight MH17
THE Dutch Safety Board has identified the area from which it claims the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was launched.
Though it declined to comment further on the exact launch site, all the territory within a 320km square area it identified was in rebel hands at the time of the July 2014 incident.
Russia has contended that if the plane was brought down by a missile, it must have been launched by Ukrainian forces.
The Dutch Safety Board report said the Buk missile’s impact was instantly fatal only to the three crew members in the cockpit of the plane.
The rest of the crew and passengers died due to decompression, reduced oxygen levels, extreme cold, powerful airflow and flying objects.
It added: “It cannot be ruled out that some occupants remained conscious during the 60 to 90 seconds before the plane crashed.”
The board said it is likely that those who died “were barely able to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves.”
One passenger was found wearing an oxygen mask, but it was “unclear how it got there”, the board said.
Meanwhile, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ( above) has called on Russia to fully cooperate with the criminal investigation.