The Russian Investigation Committee released the name of the key witness to the Malaysian Airlines flight that had been downed over eastern Ukraine last year, Russian Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Wednesday.
Markin said that investigators had decided to release the name in light of the numerous media reports that were somewhat doubtful.
“The [key] witness is a Ukrainian, Evgeniy Agapov, who served as a mechanic in the First Squadron Brigade of Tactical Aviation of the Ukrainian Air Force (Military Unit Number A4465).”
“[Agapov] is currently under state protection,” Markin added.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed by a Buk 9М38-М1 guided missile fired from Ukrainian military-controlled territory, Russia’s air defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey said in a press conference presenting its report on Tuesday.
The investigation into the crash that killed all 298 people on board is headed by the Dutch Safety Board.
According to a September preliminary report, the plane was hit by multiple high-energy objects causing it to break up in mid-air. The final report on the crash is due by October 2015.
The Russian maker of the Buk air defense missile system said Tuesday that it has concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile, which isn’t in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.
Controversy continues over who shot down the plane last summer over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.
Ukraine and the West suspect it was destroyed by a “Russian surface-to-air missile fired by Russian soldiers or Russia-backed separatist rebels” fighting in the area, but refuse to release evidence to back their claims.
Russia has denied the allegations and has provided material in support.
Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the director general of the missile maker, state-controlled Almaz-Antei consortium, said at a news conference Tuesday that its analysis was based on photographs of the wreckage available to the public. He said the holes in the plane’s parts were consistent with a specific type of Buk missile and its warhead.