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Yan Novikov conducts the briefing on MH17. EPA
Yan Novikov, attends a press conference to present the results of the company’s investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Moscow on October 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV
Almaz-Antey’s chief executive, Yan Novikov says its investigation contradicts the Dutch probe on MH17. AFP Photo.
(File pic) Parts of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80 kms east of Donetsk. AFP Photo.

MOSCOW: A Russian state-controlled missile-maker said Tuesday its investigation of last year’s crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane over rebel eastern Ukraine contradicts conclusions from a Dutch probe.

Ukraine and Western countries contend the airliner was downed by a missile fired by Russia-backed rebels or Russian forces from rebel-controlled territory on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people aboard.

Russia's missile maker Almaz-Antey's chief executive, Yan Novikov, attends a press conference to present the results of the company’s investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Moscow. AFP PHOTO

The Dutch investigation into the crash of flight MH17 is to be made public later Tuesday, but a draft report was presented to Russia and other governments in July.

A statement from the Almaz-Antey arms-maker said the Dutch draft found that the plane, a Boeing 777 belonging to Malaysia Airlines, was shot down by a Buk missile warhead that uses submunitions shaped like a capital letter I.

However, Almaz-Antey says it conducted two experiments – in one of which a Buk missile was detonated near the nose of an airplane similar to a 777 – that contradict that conclusion.

An official of Russia's missile maker Almaz-Antey presents the results of the company’s investigation. AFP PHOTO

The experimental aircraft’s remains showed a much different submunitions damage pattern than seen on the remnants of MH17, the company said in a statement.

The experiments also refute what it said was the Dutch version, that the missile was fired from Snizhne, a village that was under rebel control. An Associated Press reporter saw a Buk missile system in that vicinity on the same day.

Almaz-Antey in June had said that a preliminary investigation suggested that the plane was downed by a model of Buk that is no longer in service with the Russian military but that was part of the Ukrainian military arsenal.

Information from the first experiment, in which a missile was fired at aluminum sheets mimicking an airliner’s fuselage, was presented to the Dutch investigators, but was not taken into account, Almaz-Antey chief Yan Novikov said at a news conference.

Novikov said evidence shows that if the plane was hit by a Buk, it was fired from the village of Zaroshenske, which Russia says was under Ukrainian government control at the time.

A U.S. official told The Associated Press that the draft report said the plane was destroyed by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the village of Snizhne; the official who was not authorized to comment publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Many reports, including an investigation by the open-source group Bellingcat, also suggest the plane was downed by a missile fired from near Snizhne.--AP

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