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Russian missile-maker contradicts Dutch MH17 crash report

Published 13/10/2015

A Malaysia Airlines crew member places a flower next to candles forming the letters MH17 after multi-faith prayers for the victims (AP)
A Malaysia Airlines crew member places a flower next to candles forming the letters MH17 after multi-faith prayers for the victims (AP)

A Russian state-controlled missile-maker says its own investigation of last year's crash of the MH17 airliner over rebel eastern Ukraine contradicts conclusions from a Dutch probe.

Results of the Dutch investigation are to be released later today.

Yan Novikov, head of the Russian Almaz-Antey concern, speaking at a news conference, did not specify what was in the report and he did not say whether he had been given an advance look.

The Malaysian airliner crashed on July 17 2014 in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine and is widely believed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

Ukraine and Western countries contend the missile was fired by Russian troops or Russian-backed separatists.

Almaz-Antey says it conducted two experiments - in one of which a Buk missile was detonated near the nose of a plane similar to a 777 - that contradict the conclusion.

The experimental aircraft's remains showed a much different submunitions damage pattern than seen on the remnants of MH17, the company said in a statement.

The experiments also refute what it said was the Dutch version, that the missile was fired from Snizhne, a village that was under rebel control.

Almaz-Antey in June had said that a preliminary investigation suggested that the plane was downed by a model of Buk that is no longer in service with the Russian military, but that was part of the Ukrainian military arsenal.

Information from the first experiment, in which a missile was fired at aluminium sheets mimicking an airliner's fuselage, was presented to the Dutch investigators, but was not taken into account, Almaz-Antey chief Yan Novikov said at a news conference.

Mr Novikov said evidence shows that if the plane was hit by a Buk, it was fired from the village of Zaroshenske, which Russia says was under Ukrainian government control at the time.

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