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18 Jul, 2014 15:29

Moscow: No Buk missile systems or other weapons crossed Russia-Ukraine border

Moscow: No Buk missile systems or other weapons crossed Russia-Ukraine border

The Russian Defense Ministry has said that neither the Buk missile defense system, nor any other military equipment, has crossed the Russian border into Ukraine.

Such border crossings “can’t be performed in secrecy,” the official representative for the Russian Defense Ministry told journalists in Moscow.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) alleged that it has proof the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine received a Buk anti-aircraft missile system with a crew from Russia.

Malaysian flight MH17 “was shot down by a missile from the Buk-M air defense system, which was transferred from the territory of Russia,” said Valentin Nalivaychenko, SBU head, without elaborating on the evidence.

Shortly after the Thursday’s tragedy, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko addressed the nation, saying that what happened to the Malaysian MH17 flight was “a terrorist act.”

The statement came before Kiev launched an investigation into the crash to determine what exactly happened to the Malaysian jet.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman also denied statements by the Ukrainian side, which announced the detention of two “spotters for Buk anti-aircraft missile systems” on its territory, who were Russian citizens.

“We should clarify that such specialists as spotters are used only for those weapons systems, which are aimed at engaging ground-based targets,” he said.

Buk is a family of self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by the former USSR and Russia to engage targets at an engagement altitude of 11,000-25,000 meters depending on the model.

Previously, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational in the area in the Donetsk Region where the Malaysian plane crashed.

Ukrainian Buk battery radar was operational when Malaysian plane downed - Moscow

“The Russian equipment detected throughout July 17 the activity of a Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla [a village some 30km south of Donetsk],” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the Russian side, the Ukrainian military has deployed several Buk batteries, with at least 27 launchers, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, in the Donetsk Region.

The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 carrying almost 300 people on board crashed on Thursday as it was flying over Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, the scene of heavy fighting between the Ukrainian military and local self-defense forces.