20 Sep 2018 23:10

Defense Ministry ready to carry out additional forensic studies to identify origin of missile that hit Malaysia Airlines Boeing in Donbas

MOSCOW. Sept 20 (Interfax-AVN) - Russian military experts can carry out an additional forensic study of documents used to identify the origin of the missile fired from a Buk air defense system that hit the Malaysia Airlines Boeing airliner over eastern Ukraine in 2014, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

"Once we receive appropriate requests from the Joint Investigation Team, we will consider additional forensic studies," the Defense Ministry's department of information and mass communications said on Thursday.

The ministry said that the authenticity of the documents made public at a press briefing in Moscow on Monday "is beyond any doubt".

"When the radar-guided surface-to-air missile 9M38 was being developed, a relevant package of detailed design documentation was being developed, too. The package included one formalized logbook regarding the missile's engine, one for its nozzle unit and one for every other aggregate. The engine logbook was the master document," it said.

A print run of logbooks was subsequently produced based on this logbook and unique information characterizing each particular engine to every ready-made missile was entered into the logbooks, it said.

The ministry went on to explain that every time such a master document ("original document") became unfit for use, an accurate copy called "the restored original" would be created to replace it, and after that, logbooks would be copied under the "restored original" title.

"Information about that was reflected on the margins of a particular document. Specifically, the engine logbook that the Russian Defense Ministry presented during the press briefing was a copy of the original document restored on January 14, 1986, as certified by an endorsement written in the logbook," the Defense Ministry said.

The technical documentation development procedure was then governed by a GOST All-Union State Standard, or the USSR standard specifications, a document that clearly stated that "the original" and "the restored original" are the kinds of documents used to get copies.

"Specific numbers of a particular engine to 9M38 surface-to-air guided missiles had to be entered into the logbooks. These rules governing the development and maintenance of technical documentation were applicable all across the Soviet Union, including Ukraine," it said.

"The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has certified that all the information was provided to the Dutch side on September 17, 2018," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Nikolai Parshin, chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate, said on Monday that a surface-to-air missile launched from the Buk air defense system that downed the MH17 in 2014 had been manufactured in Dolgoprudny outside Moscow in 1986 and sent to Ukraine.