November 15, 2014
Russian media picture ... The fighter jet featured in the satellite image. Picture: LiveLeak Source: Supplied
HOURS before the G20 summit is due to start in Brisbane, Russia's official media has released satellite images which it claims shows the Malaysia Airline's flight MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, not a surface-to-air missile.
The flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down over the war zone in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 people on board including 38 Australian residents and citizens.
Russian media picture ... the image appears to show a fighter jet shooting a missile in the direction of a passenger jet. Picture: LiveLeak Source: Supplied
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been under increasing pressure to apologise for the tragedy after initial investigations indicated it was a Russian made BUK missile system used by pro-Moscow rebels that was responsible.
In what only could be described as an extraordinary coincidence after Mr Putin was confronted by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Beijing this week, Russia's state broadcaster aired the images supplied by unnamed sources.
The presenter said they showed how a Mig-29 fighter plane destroyed the Boeing 777 passenger plane.
A Dutch Safety Board preliminary report on the MH17 disaster found the aircraft crashed after being punctured by "high energy objects ... that originated from outside the fuselage".
The report made no finding on whether the "high energy objects" originated from a surface-to-air missile or some other weapon.
In the spotlight ... Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives in Brisbane to take part in the G20 summit. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Peter Parks Source: AFP
Mr Abbott's hard line on the suspected Russian involvement in the tragedy has not gone down well with grieving families.
Paul Guard, who lost his parents Roger and Jill Guard when the aircraft was brought down, told the ABC yesterday he would prefer the Prime Minister worked with Mr Putin in order to ensure complete transparency in the investigation process.
Member countries of the joint investigation team announced this week an extension to the official investigation for another nine months until August 15.
Investigators have had difficulty accessing the crash site because of ongoing fighting between the Ukrainians and pro-Russian separatists, but a Dutch newspaper reports that a new deal has been agreed on, allowing access.
The Dutch investigators will be allowed to return to the region controlled by the separatists under the agreement reached in negotiations overseen by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported late on Friday, quoting the Justice Ministry in the Hague.
Many pieces of MH17 wreckage lie in the area controlled by the separatists, which has made their recovery especially difficult. Earlier this month experts were still recovering human remains and pieces of the jet.