E. Ukrainian self-defense hands over MH17 debris to Dutch investigators, following RT documentary
“Today, we have handed over to the Dutch 576 fragments of the Malaysian Boeing, which were unearthed in the villages of Grabovo and Rassypnoe [where flight MH17 crashed in July 2014],” Marina Pozhidaeva from Donetsk local authorities told Interfax.
The pieces of wreckage were surrendered to the investigating team in the presence of OSCE representative.
“We hope that the delivered fragments will be considered during the investigation …and thus help to establish the true culprits behind this tragedy,” Pozhidaeva added.
The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, mostly Dutch nationals.
The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into the crash, had no knowledge of the fragments until an RT documentary titled “MH17: A year without truth” was broadcast in July 2015.
The film showed fragments of the crashed Boeing and pieces of luggage still scattered in the area at the time of filming. The RTD crew collected the parts of the plane’s exterior they spotted, and took them to authorities in the nearby town of Petropavlovsk.
Following the release of the film, Dutch Safety Board spokesperson Sara Vernooij contacted RT.
"With great interest we watched your documentary, ‘MH17: A year without truth,’” she wrote to RT. “In this film, RT shows parts of the cockpit roof which were found near Petropavlivka. We would like to gather those pieces and bring them over to the Netherlands so the Dutch Safety Board can use them for the investigation and the reconstruction."
In the documentary, the RTD team talked to witnesses, experts and family members of flight MH17 passengers in a bid to understand whether the truth of what caused the tragedy will ever be established.
Though it’s been more than 15 months since the crash, no definitive answer on who downed the plane has been released yet.
So far the Dutch team's preliminary report only states that the plane broke up in the air after structural damage caused by high-energy objects penetrating the aircraft from outside.
However, Kiev and Western powers have already ‘found’ their own culprit without providing any solid evidence – Russia and local self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly called for more transparency in the ongoing investigation of the MH17 incident by the Dutch authorities. The Dutch Safety Board's final report is due to be presented on October 13.
This August, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov once again said there are a lot of questions regarding the MH17 investigation, adding it is “not independent, not comprehensive and not truly international.
“The representative of the Russian Civil Aviation Organization is participating in these procedures, but the information we receive through this representative is not complete. We are being given less information than those who started the investigation,” Lavrov said during a visit to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.