Ukrainian Fighter Jet Was Near MH17, Says Moscow


MOSCOW – Russia said its records show a Ukrainian fighter jet was flying close to the Malaysian airliner just before it crashed and a US satellite was flying over rebel-held Ukraine at the time.

Moscow also denied supplying Ukrainian separatists with Buk missile systems or any other weapons as it sought to head off international accusations it was responsible for the downing of the Malaysian plane with 298 people on board.

In the early hours of Monday, the Kremlin released a video address in which a grim-faced President Vladimir Putin said the tragedy should unite and not divide people.

Armed with a number of slides, charts and images, two high-ranking officials of Russia’s General Staff later today laid out a case against Kiev and Washington at a specially called briefing.

Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov said the Malaysian plane strayed north of its planned route, adding that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet, which is typically equipped with air-to-air missiles, had been recorded in the proximity of the Boeing 777.

The Malaysian plane “deviated from its route to the North … The maximum deviation was 14 kilometres,” he said.