Russia rejected a request from the Netherlands to interview Sergei Muchkaev, who commanded the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces based in Kursk in the summer of 2014, as a witness in the Boeing crash in Ukraine. This was announced by Judge Hendrik Steinheis.
We will remind, earlier the international research group Bellingcat published report about the Russian military who allegedly shot down the Malaysian Boeing MH17 in eastern Ukraine. In the report on the plane crash, experts give the names of those who selected the soldiers into the Buk’s crew and gave the order to launch the rocket. All conclusions drawn in the report are based on information from open sources.
According to Bellingcat, the Buk that shot down the plane was operated by servicemen from the 2nd Battalion of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Army. The authors of the report were able to identify ten officers of the 2nd battalion, one of whom could have given the order. However, Bellingcat experts cannot say who exactly did this, so the report lists only their names and the first letters of their surnames, and the faces in the photographs are deliberately blurred.
The position of battalion commander at that time was occupied by Dmitry Trunin, and its chief, the commander of the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade, was Sergei Muchkaev. The authors of the investigation suggest that Muchkaev gave orders for the movement of the 2nd battalion and, in particular, for the transportation of the Buk to Ukrainian territory. At the same time, experts believe that Muchkaev could not independently make a decision on the transportation of the air defense system, since this is within the competence of the higher command.
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