The serial numbers found on debris of the Buk missile that shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine show it was produced in 1986, the Russian military said. The rocket was owned by Ukraine, they added.
There are two serial numbers found on fragments of a rocket, which has shut down the passenger airliner in June 2014, according to an international team of investigators led by the Netherlands. They marked the engine and the nozzle of the projectile.
The Russian military on Monday said they traced them to a particular missile, which has serial number 8868720.
Speaking to journalists, Gen. Nikolay Parshin, showed a document trail of the Buk missile. According to the documents, some of which have been declassified for the presentation, it was produced at a military plant in Dolgoprudny in Moscow region in 1986.
The missile was shipped from the plant on December 29, 1986 and delivered to a military unit 20152 located in what is now Ukraine. It is now called 223rd anti-aircraft defense regiment of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report said. The unit took part in Kiev’s crackdown on rebels in eastern Ukraine in June 2014, the general said.
The evidence disproof the accusations by Ukraine and some other parties, which claim that a Russian missile fired by a launcher secretly delivered from Russia was responsible for the downing of MH17, the Ministry of Defense’s report said. All the materials have been sent to the Dutch investigators, the Russian military added.
The Russian military also challenges video footage used by the UK-based group Bellingcat, which calls itself a citizen journalism organization, to back its allegations about the delivery of the Buk launcher from Russia. The Defense Ministry showed a video clip with some of the footage, highlighting inconsistencies, which it said proved that the footage had been manipulated to post images of the launcher into background where none had been in the original.
The video showed an example of how an Abrams tank can be shown carried by a trailer in the streets of Ukraine in the same way.