Shrapnel at MH17 wreckage not from Russia’s Buk missile, says envoy

Russian embassador Valery N. Yermolov arrives for a news conference at the Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, October 15, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Russian embassador Valery N. Yermolov arrives for a news conference at the Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, October 15, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — Russia no longer produces the cube and bow-tie shaped shrapnel for its Buk surface-to-air missile system, which were found in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 wreckage and bodies of three of the crew members, said Russian envoy to Malaysia Valery N Yermolov.

He stressed that his country had not owned the 9N314M warhead that hit MH17, since 2011, the year when it was decommissioned.

“Russian missiles only contained shrapnel in the shape of parallelepiped.

“The shrapnel found at the fuselage were a type of missile widely used by other separatists and rebels in the conflict area,” said Yermolov at a press conference in the embassy here today.

He said even the Dutch Safety Board’s (DSB) Report on the MH17 Crash stated that the missile that hit MH17 was an old type.

Yermolov explained the Buk missile mentioned in the DSB report were developed in 1986 during the war involving the Soviet Union army and had a warranty period of at least 25 years.

The ambassador claimed that many other former Soviet Union states, including some members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) alliance such as Greece, were also armed with similar Buk missiles.

“This means that the Buk missiles may not only be owned by Russia, but by former Soviet Union states,” he said.

According to him, the DSB investigation findings would not jeopardise relations between Russia, Malaysia and the nations involved in the probe.

He said Russia would continue to work with Malaysia through the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in seeking justice for the victims.

On Tuesday, DSB concluded that MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air BUK missile while cruising at 33,000 ft over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard on July 17 last year. — Bernama  

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