RUSSIA has provided an explosive alternative explanation of how Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 went down. Speaking to the media, a high-ranking Russian military official implied that a Ukrainian fighter jet could be responsible for the disaster, not pro-Russian separatists.

The US claims its intelligence shows a ground-to-air missile launched from territory held by pro-Russian rebels brought the plane down on Thursday. But Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov said Russian flight records showed a Ukrainian military jet was flying just a few kilometres away from the Malaysia Airlines flight at the time it went down, The Independent reports.

The military aircraft, a SU-25, flew within three to five kilometres of the Boeing 777, according to Lt-Gen Kartopolov, and he went on to imply that it shot MH17 down. He said SU-25s “can briefly climb up to 10,000m (and are) regularly equipped with air-to-air missiles R-60 that can capture and destroy targets of a distance up to 12km and up to 5km as guaranteed”.

Lt-Gen Kartopolov said the Russian Defence Ministry wanted to know “why the military jet was flying along (the same civil aviation lines) at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane”. He denied allegations that Russia had provided the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine with Buk missile launchers…. see more