The doomed Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was brought down on 17 July 2014 by a Russian-made BUK missile fired by pro-rebel groups in eastern Ukraine, a report by the Dutch Safety Board will conclude.
The final report, set to be released on 13 October and distributed to the families of victims, has concluded the Russian military missile had to be fired from positions in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels.
The Dutch daily newspaper Volkskrant reported the conclusion, quoting three sources involved in its drafting. The findings come 15 months after 298 were killed on the flight. Of the dead, 196 were Dutch.
Using a series of maps and charts, the Dutch Safety Board has claimed definitive proof the missile could not have been fired from Ukrainian Army positions. The report claims blame for the catastrophe lies with Russia.
"The BUK is anyhow developed and produced in Russia. You can assume that the rebels can not operate such BUK device, I suspect the help of Russian ex-servicemen," Volkskrant quoted two sources as saying.
Moscow has vehemently denied its involvement in the downing of the Malaysian Airline flight, refuting the validity of the Dutch report, even before it was published. The safety body points no fingers at individuals. Details as to who actually pulled the trigger and downed the passenger plane are not expected until 2016.
The Netherlands was among the most vocal advocates for an international criminal trial to prosecute those responsible for blowing the Boeing 777 out of the sky.The Kuala Lumpur-bound plane had taken off from Amsterdam.
Ukraine and its Western allies have long accused Russian-backed rebels for the disaster, suggesting it was caused by a surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-held territory.