Missile which downed MH17 ‘owned by Russian brigade’

298 Crew And Passengers Perish On Flight MH17 After Suspected Missile Attack In Ukraine

GRABOVO, UKRAINE - : Personnel from the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry load the bodies of victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 into a truck at the crash site on July 21, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed killing all 298 on board including 80 children. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

A missile which brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine nearly four years ago was fired from a launcher belonging to Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft brigade, investigators said Thursday.

The Buk missile was fired from a farm near Pervomaisk, the Joint Investigation Team into the MH17 disaster told a news conference in the Netherlands.

“At the time this area was under control of pro-Russian separatists,” said Fred Westerbeke, chief prosecutor of the National Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands. The Buk launcher of the 9M38 series “was transported from the territory of the Russian Federation and was returned to that territory of the Russian Federation afterwards.”

Westerbeke highlighted how “this raises questions such as to whether the brigade was actively involved in downing MH17. It is an important question which the JIT are still investigating.”

A total of 298 people from 17 countries died when the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was brought down in eastern Ukraine in July 2014.