The Ukrainian Interior Ministry is checking reports that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu could be directly involved in the transfer to terrorists of a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that was used to shoot down a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukrainian interior minister’s adviser, Anton Herashchenko, said this at a briefing on Wednesday, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.
“We are checking the reports that it was Shoigu who coordinated the transfer of the Buk anti-aircraft missile system to terrorists in order to enable them to shoot down Ukrainian planes, but, as is known, they destroyed a passenger airliner,” Herashchenko said.
He said that the Interior Ministry had already received “unequivocal data” about the involvement of the Russian defense minister in the transfer to terrorists in eastern Ukraine of other weapons – Grad multiple rocket launchers, tanks, and artillery.
In addition, according to the adviser, Shoigu was charged with controlling supplies of arms and coordinating the actions of terrorist groups in east Ukraine.
“The transfer of these functions to Shoigu is related to the fact that the previous system to manage [terrorists], which was carried out by FSB and GRU, was not effective,” Herashchenko said.
As reported, on July 22, the main investigation department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry opened criminal proceedings against Shoigu and pro-Kremlin oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev for aiding terrorists.