Russian investigators view the presence of a Ukrainian Su-25 warplane in the sky over Donbass as the priority theory behind the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger jet's crash in July 2014, a source familiar with the case documents told Interfax.
"For the time being, the theory based on Ukrainian Air Force serviceman Yevhen Ahapov's testimony remains priority one for the Russian investigation," the source said.
It was reported earlier that Ahapov had testified to Russian investigators as a witness that he had served with the Ukrainian Air Force and was aware that a Ukrainian Air Force Su-25 piloted by Capt. Voloshyn had been scrambled for a combat mission in the afternoon of July 17, 2014.
"The plane in question returned to the airfield empty [of missiles], and Voloshyn explained to his colleagues that 'a plane happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time'. The witness learned later that a Malaysian civilian aircraft with passengers on board had crashed earlier in the day," the Russian Investigative Committee reported earlier.
Meanwhile, this statement contradicts the information that representatives of Russia's leading manufacturer of air defense systems, Almaz-Antey, made public at a press conference on June 2.
Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the Almaz-Antey CEO, said the MH17 that crashed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 was destroyed by a 9M38M or 9M38M1 guided surface-to-air missile tipped with a 9M314 or 9M314M1 warhead, using a Buk-M1 air defense system. The missile blew up 3-4 meters away from the plane's skin, closer to the left side of the cockpit.
Almaz-Antey CEO Yan Novikov said Almaz-Antey had proof that the Ukrainian armed forces had Buk-M1 missiles on their inventory.
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