In September 2016, an international team of criminal investigators said forensic evidence showed the missile had been fired from a field in The Ukraine controlled by anti-Government fighters. It was not fired from the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Dutch Safety Board said the crash was caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead carried on the 9M38M1 missile, launched from the eastern part of Ukraine using a Buk missile system.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which reported on the interim findings of its criminal investigation in September 2016 similarly found “irrefutable evidence” a BUK missile from the 9M38-series was used.
The Dutch report commissioned three separate investigations - from Dutch, Russian and Ukrainian bodies - to look at where the missile launcher could have been located. It said the missile could have been fired from an area of about 320 sq km in the east of Ukraine.
The JIT and the government in Ukraine say the missile was launched from the rebel-held part of Ukraine, not from Russia.
JIT used witness testimony, intercepted phone calls, photographs and satellite imagery showing scorched land to pinpoint the launch site on high ground at Pervomaiskyi, near Snizhne, in territory held by anti-Government separatists in eastern Ukraine, in the now self-proclaimed independent republic Donetsk (not Crimea).
As for the identities of the perpetrators, the JIT has identified a “long list” of 100 possible suspects. It is continuing its work, including trying to identify the perpetrators’ chain of command, and has appealed for witnesses to come forward - saying those who co-operate could face lower jail terms or immunity from criminal liability themselves.
The Russian firm that manufactures Buk missiles has insisted the missile was a model no longer used by Russian forces and said its own investigation showed it had been fired from Ukrainian-controlled territory.
It is therefore on the balance of probability just the actions of criminal elements involved in the attempted breakaway of parts of eastern Ukraine, and not a result of the actions of Russian authorities.
The two self-declared breakaway republics (Donetsk and Luhansk) remain part of The Ukraine (Only Crimea has acceded to the Russian Federation) and local residents there still suffer the effects of the war damaged or destroyed infrastructure, with few having returned after fleeing across international borders at the height of the terrors of war.
That is why I stated “alleged”. I prefer to look at impartial international evidence than just be brainwashed by the political slant of journalists and editors at various media outlets.