The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigating the crash of Malaysian Boeing MH17 over the Donbas has released a new record, made in early July 2014 that involves a militant who calls himself "Makiyivka Commandant" and a senior unidentified person, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
This unidentified person stated that "people with powers have been arriving from Shoigu (Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu – ed.), and local field commanders are being thrown out of the units".
This person also indicated to the interlocutor that "you will obey the Minister of Defense of the “DPR" Strelkov (citizen of Russia Igor Girkin – ed.), but the commander-in-chief, equivalent to the president or prime minister in [other] countries, is Boroday (citizen of Russian Federation, Alexander Boroday – ed.). That is, Strelkov reports directly to Boroday."
The revelations act as further proof of Moscow's direct involvement in the tragedy due to their installed people "having a mandate from the Russian defense minister". The Kremlin continues to deny its role, this time questioning the authenticity of the evidence.
The JIT urged witnesses in the criminal investigation into the MH17 crash to come forward on November 14. The group is collecting information about those who gave orders in the military and administrative hierarchy, which made it possible to take down the plane. In particular, the investigators are interested in identifying participants of the released conversation and seek to find out who owned the telephone numbers from which the conversation was conducted.
The trial in the MH17 case is scheduled to begin in the Netherlands on March 9, 2020.
Earlier, Volodymyr Tsemakh, who is believed to be involved in the crash of the Boeing and who was handed over to Russia as part of the September prisoner exchange with Ukraine, said he was ready to testify to investigators from the Netherlands.
Malaysia Airlines' Boeing 777 operating on the Kuala Lumpur-Amsterdam route was shot down over the Donbas near the town of Snizhne in the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew aboard the plane died.
An official investigation confirmed that the Buk missile that shot down the MH17 aircraft was brought to the occupied territory of Donbas from Russia and belonged to the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, which is located in the Kursk region.
The Russian authorities deny the involvement of their institutions in the tragedy, claiming that the plane was shot down by Ukrainian troops from the village of Zaroshchenske.