Eliot Higgins, the founder of the Bellingcat investigative group, says that it is the commander of the Russian military who is responsible for sending military equipment into Ukraine, including the Buk surface-to-air missile system that downed flight MH17 in Donbas in July 2014.
”Ultimately, the responsibility for sending military equipment into Ukraine is the responsibility of the commander of the Russian military. So, where that specific order came from is hard for us to know, but keep in mind the joint investigation team have a large number of intercepted communications that are a part of the case as well. So maybe in there we have the person who requested the [Buk] missile launcher, and we can see who that request went to. And then we can understand who they would have to have actually spoken to allow that to happen,” he said in an interview with Deutsche Welle.
UNIAN memo. A Boeing 777 plane of Malaysia Airlines Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, over an area in Donetsk region that was controlled by pro-Russian militants. All 298 people on board, including 80 children, were killed in a crash. Most of the victims – 196 passengers – were Dutch, 38 were citizens of Australia.
The Dutch Safety Board on October 13, 2015, released its report on the causes of the MH17 crash. It was established that the aircraft had been shot down by a Buk system.
The joint investigation team (JIT) on September 28, 2016, presented a report revealing that the plane had been shot down from the militant-controlled territory of Donbas by the Russian Buk anti-aircraft missile system, brought to Ukraine from Russia.
The JIT is composed of experts from five countries, namely the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium, and Ukraine.
See also: Short summary of MH17 crash investigation. Video and animation how “Buk” systems shot down Boeing MH-17