international investigators will give a precise Google location showing that the Buk was located in separatist-controlled territory, near the village of Snizhne.
The JIT has been working on the scenario that the Buk came from the Kremlin’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in the Russian city of Kursk. It was smuggled across the Russian-Ukrainian border in July 2014 and spotted leaving rebel-held Donetsk on a low-loader, heading east.
After arriving in Snizhne on the afternoon of 17 July, the Buk was offloaded and driven to a field south of town, investigators believe. It shot down MH17 in error, believing it to be a Ukrainian army transport plane. The Buk was smuggled back across the Russian border early the next day.
“There is a wide presumption in diplomatic circles that this report will point to the involvement of pro-Russian rebels or Russia,” said Robert van de Roer, a Dutch diplomatic expert and commentator. “It will cause high waves.”
According to Van de Roer, investigators have not yet been able to identify “the guy who pushed the button” on the Buk missile. They do know the names of about 20 Russian servicemen from the 53rd brigade in Kursk who could form a “broad circle of suspects,” he said.