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MH17 hit by Russian-made missile: Dutch watchdog

A 15-month investigation by Dutch authorities into doomed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has determined a Russian-made missile shot the plane down over Ukraine and killed all 298 people on board.

Experts retrieved shrapnel from the missile in the remains of the plane, as well as from the bodies of the 298 passengers and crew, all of whom died in the disaster on July 17 last year.

The Deputy Chief of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, Oleg Storchevoy, sent a letter to Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the head of the global Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), after becoming acquainted with a draft of the final report by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which is heading the probe.

Ukraine and the west have accused pro-Russian rebels in the region of shooting down the plane with a BUK missile supplied from Russia. Moscow has vehemently denied any involvement, providing a range of conflicting theories, including an air-to-air missile putatively launched by a Ukrainian jet. Most were Dutch nationals.

Sources close to the investigation said the report will confirm the damage to the aircraft was consistent with a mid-air strike by an exploding missile such as the BUK. The report findings next week are expected to provide details but will not assign blame.