Interfax: Ukraine rebels say they “did not have” Buk missile system at time of MH17 crash

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – October 13, 2015)

Eduard Basuryn (Basurin), the deputy defence minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, has once again said that the east Ukrainian insurgents did not have access to a Buk surface-to-air missile system at the time when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 13 October.

Earlier in the day the results of a Dutch-led investigation into the incident were released, indicating that the aeroplane had been downed by a Russian-made 9M38 Buk missile fired from within east Ukraine.

However, according to Basuryn, the rebels did not have such a weapon at their disposal in July 2014 when the plane was hit.

“At that moment we did not have a Buk anti-air defence system,” Basurin told Interfax.

He went on to blame Kiev for having not shut off the airspace over the area affected by the conflict to civilian aircraft.

“Ukraine did not close the airspace over Donbass to flights by civil aviation, although it should have done so. Passenger airliners should not have been flying there,” Basurin said.

In June 2014 rebel representatives were quoted by RIA Novosti (part of state-owned international news agency Rossiya Segodnya) as claiming to have taken control of a Buk missile system. A DPR-affiliated Twitter account later posted a photograph of what it alleged to be the captured system. (http://bit.ly/1HIa6It)