Ukraine’s defence ministry insists it did not launch any surface-to-air missiles during recent military operations, rejecting any suggestion that its forces might have brought down Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777.
The ministry says the operations, which it describes as “counter-terrorism” activity, did not include use of anti-aircraft weapons.
It states that radar contact with flight MH17 was lost at 16:20 on 17 July and that an emergency locator transmission was detected at 16:45.
But while there is evidence that a sudden, destructive event overcame the 777 as it flew over eastern Ukraine, the ministry says its missile forces were not responsible.
It says its surface-to-air missile complexes “were not used” and there was “no initiation” of anti-aircraft guided weapons.
Flight MH17 was also operating “outside of the area” of its land-based air defences, it adds, and that there was no armed forces fighter in the airspace.