A key witness to the MH17 crash has been identified by a Russian Investigative Committee. He is Evgeny Agapov, an aviation armaments mechanic in the Ukrainian Air Force and is currently under Russian state protection.
Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the investigative Committee said: “As now there is new evidence of the reliability of the words of the witness, as well as various reports concerning the doubts of certain media outlets about the real existence of this witness, we decided to disclose [the name of the witness]”
Agapov, a Ukrainian citizen, was serving as a military mechanic in the first squadron of the Ukrainian Air Force’s tactical aviation brigade.
According to Markin, the man “voluntarily crossed the state border of the Russian Federation and expressed a desire to cooperate with the Russian investigation.”
Agapov has testified that on July 17, 2014, a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-25 jet aircraft piloted by one Captain Voloshin “set out for a military task,” Markin said.
The aircraft returned to the airfield with empty ammunition. To his colleagues, Voloshin said that the plane was “at the wrong time or in the wrong place,” said the Investigative Committee spokesman.
Later Agapov learnt that the Malaysian Airlines plane crashed in the Donetsk Region, Markin said.
On Tuesday, Russian arms manufacturer Almaz-Altey announced the results of its own probe into the MH17 tragedy. They say that the crash could only have been caused by one of the missiles from BUK’s older line of defense systems, the BUK-M1. These missiles are widely deployed by a number of post-Soviet states, including Ukraine, but have been replaced by a newer model in Russia.
“If a surface-to-air missile system was used [to hit the plane], it could only have been a 9M38M1 missile of the BUK-M1 system,” Almaz-Antey said in a statement.