Russian Theory Blames Ukraine for MH17

Crash victims finally out of rebel-held territory

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 22, 2014 7:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – The investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines MH17 took big steps forward today, with victims' bodies finally arriving by train in a Ukraine town and Malaysia declaring that the black boxes are in "good condition." But Moscow, in the meantime, sought to cast doubt on the generally accepted theory that pro-Russian separatists were to blame, reports the Wall Street Journal. At an official briefing last night, the defense ministry said that its radar spotted a second aircraft in the vicinity and that it was probably a Ukraine fighter jet, which could have shot down the plane. The air force chief also suggested that a Ukraine missile system could have hit the plane from the ground, and he said satellite imagery suggested that Ukraine had been moving such systems into the area.

He offered no proof, but as Katie Stallard at Sky News writes, "Russia doesn't need to prove its case—all it needs is to create one, to insist that there are different versions of events, that there is credible claim and counter-claim." Meanwhile, the refrigerated train carrying passengers arrived in the Ukraine town of Kharkiv, reports the AP. Forensic experts from the Netherlands, which is taking the lead in the investigation, were to prepare the bodies today for transport to Amsterdam, probably tomorrow. Meanwhile, Malaysia's prime minister declared the black boxes to be in "good condition," reports MarketWatch. Malaysia will hold them until they are turned over to international investigators.

Police officers secure a refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers as it arrives in the Kharkiv railway station Tuesday.
Police officers secure a refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers as it arrives in the Kharkiv railway station Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Olga Ivashchenko)
Police officers secure a refrigerated train carrying the plane passengers as it arrives in Kharkiv.
Police officers secure a refrigerated train carrying the plane passengers as it arrives in Kharkiv.   (AP Photo/Olga Ivashchenko)
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