The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation released the following statement in connection with the crash of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.
"In view of the objective investigation of the air crash of the Boeing 777 that crashed on the territory of Ukraine, it is necessary to conduct thorough investigation with the involvement of representatives of all interested international organizations. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, there are units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the disaster area; the units are armed with anti-aircraft missile systems Buk-M1. In the area of northwestern outskirts of Donetsk, divisions of the 156th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are deployed, with 27 Buk M1 complexes. These complexes, on their tactical and technical characteristics, are capable of detecting air targets at distances of up to 160 kilometers and striking them at all altitudes at a range of over 30 kilometers. Moreover, in the skies over the Donetsk region, aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force equipped with different types of missiles are constantly present. This is an undeniable fact.
"Statements from official Kiev saying that those complexes or aircraft did not open fire on air targets raise serious doubts. In such a short period of time, making such unequivocal conclusions under the conditions of fierce fighting in the area is impossible. Such responsible statements that entail serious legal consequences, require full investigation.
"In connection with all sorts of insinuations concerning the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the border regions of Ukraine, we herewith responsibly declare that:
"On July 17, air defense systems of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation were not working in the area.
"The aircraft of the Air Force of the Russia were not performing any sorties on July 17 in the regions bordering on the Donetsk region.
"This information is fully confirmed by means of objective control.
"One should pay attention to the fact that Boeing 777 was conducting the flight beyond the range of air defense systems of the Russian Federation. The aircraft was flying in the airspace of Ukraine, under the control of its air traffic management system.
"We urge the international community to conduct thorough investigation of the disaster."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan