- Russia: Three Russian military and a Ukrainian separatist, accused of the demolition of the MH17
- MH17.The EU, NATO, Holland and Australia hold Russia responsible for the demolition
The international team of investigators (JIT) in charge of the demolition of the MH17 plane in 2014 in Ukraine, which left 298 dead , has revealed the content of new telephone conversations between the suspects "leaders (separatists) of the DNR (People's Republic of Donetsk) and senior Russian officials. " Already in 2018, the researchers established that the MH17 flight was shot down by a BUK missile, designed by the Soviet Union, from the 53rd Russian anti-aircraft brigade based in Kursk (southwest of Russia) and fired from rebel territory. Now there is new evidence involving the environment of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Calls between officials in Moscow and the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine were mainly made through 'secure phones' provided by Russian security services. The intercepted conversations showed that two leaders of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk (RPD), accused of murder in June, had been in contact with Vladislav Surkov, a senior collaborator of Putin who has long been responsible for monitoring what happens in Ukraine . They were also speaking with Sergey Aksyonov, leader of a minority party in Crimea and appointed by Moscow to rule the peninsula after Russian special troops began annexation by taking parliament. Aksyonov was an important piece at the time of tracing in Donbas the uprising model that shortly before triumphed in Crimea.
In a conversation on July 3, 2014, prosecutors said Surkov himself indicated that the reinforcements would come from Russia: "On Saturday they will leave south to be ready for combat." According to the investigation team, there were calls between rebel forces and those in Moscow "on a daily basis to discuss financial and military affairs of the DPR."
" The depth of Russian influence is relevant to investigate other people involved in the demolition of MH17. That is why we launched this new appeal for witnesses," said JIT. The punctures were obtained by the JIT of the main Ukrainian security agency, the SBU, according to RFE / RL.
The revelation underpins the "indications of close ties between the representatives of the Russian government and the leaders of the DNR raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment of the BUK (Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system) that caused the destruction of the plane," he added. . In one of the conversations a commander tells another that "men arrive with orders from Shoigu," referring to Defense Minister Serguei Shoigu. In another conversation, produced a year after the plane was shot down, when almost all the evidence points to Moscow, two separatist commanders talk about the potential legal problems of another man. The name of Surkov is repeatedly mentioned, which may be a reference to the adviser to the Russian president.
The research team also believes they have identified the voice of Aleksander Borodai, a Russian who became a separatist leader. "I am fulfilling orders and protecting the interests of a state, the Russian Federation. And that is the conclusion," Borodai can be heard saying.
"The recent analysis of witness statements and other information revealed that Russia's influence on the DNR went beyond military support," said the head of the Dutch police criminal unit, Andy Kraag. The Russian government, which has denied its participation in the demolition of the plane , has replied that it cannot verify the authenticity of those talks. The spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zajarova, said at a press conference in Moscow that these intercepted conversations come after a wave of "false news" on the subject and should be considered with skepticism.
JIT already accused three Russians and one Ukrainian in June of murder, whose trial will begin in March 2020 in the Netherlands. They will probably be tried in absentia, because Russia does not extradite its citizens prosecuted abroad.
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