Missiles shot at an Ukrainian anti-aircraft troops' exercise either struck home or were destroyed under remote control, so there was no chance of one hitting the crashed Russian liner TU 154, reassure Ukrainian authorities. Proof of Ukrainian innocence offered for now was unconvincing, says Marshal Evgeni Shaposhnikov of the Russian Air Force, prominent on the government investigation team. "That is my personal view, and the commission has not made official conclusions for now," he remarked to a news conference in Sochi on the Black Sea coast, close to the crash site. Holes in the plane were indicative of a missile strike, while metal articles found in several bodies closely resembled in shape and weight pellets inside S 200 missiles, stressed Marshal Shaposhnikov. A Russian-Ukrainian military expert team examined the debris and analysed radar data today, he added. Plane crash causes remain vague only on very rare occasions, and he is sure that one will be explained, remarked the marshal.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign