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MH17 Investigation Will Lead Nowhere, Says Retired Estonian General

Retired Brigadier General Urmas Roosimägi, who says he is one of the few Estonians to have operated the Buk ground-to-air missile, said it is unlikely that the investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 will yield results.

In an interview with Maaleht, Roosimägi, who has a degree from an air defense college in Kyiv, said a clear satellite photo, if one existed, could show who fired the missiles at the aircraft. While Roosimägi said that the United States claims to have imagery, he noted that the US has yet to disclose it. Roosimägi said that they have used such photos before and have admitted mistakes.

He said the likelihood of Russia shooting down the plane is low and that Ukrainian army Buk systems were also in the area, adding that a Ukrainian air defense base containing the weapons system was looted by separatists a month ago.

Each missile has a code, similar to VINs on vehicles, but Russia could have transported a Buk system from the Crimea, which previously belonged to the Ukrainian army.

And in the event that the missile was an error by the Ukrainian side, there would be little chance of the truth coming out in an investigation, either.

He said he is yet to see any facts about the incident. Saying that the Buk display did not distinguish between military and civilian aircraft, he said the incident must have been an accident. He said it takes 6-7 months to learn to operate a Buk system, not 2-3 days as the Ukrainians are saying.

In a comment on situation in Ukraine in general, Roosimägi said it was corruption, not conflict, that would tear the nation apart in the end.

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