MH17 plane crash investigators have found suspected Russian missile parts

Investigators on site.
Investigators on site.
Image: Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko
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Investigators from a Dutch-led team say they have found fragments that may belong to a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile system at the site of the MH17 plane crash in Eastern Ukraine.

The evidence could offer a clue at who was behind the crash, though the prosecutors say they still cannot prove a “causal connection.” It is widely believed that the Boeing 777 was downed by Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine, although Russia has repeatedly denied claims of any involvement. Last month, the country vetoed a UN resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the crash.

The Malaysian Air flight, on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch citizens, including 80 children.

An interim report last year by the investigators said that the plane was hit by “high-energy objects,” but the current findings would be the first to clearly suggest it was a missile system, and that there is a link to Russian military equipment.

The fragments will now be scrutinized by weapons and forensics experts. The final report of the Joint Investigation team on the cause of the crash is expected in October.