Kuala Lumpur, July 22:  Russian Ambassador to Malaysia Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva Tuesday dismissed as groundless accusations of Russia’s involvement in the Malaysian passenger plane crash in Ukraine. She told a press conference here that a Ukraine combat aircraft flying on the same route of MH17 was detected by the Russian armed forces, which proved that “what is said about Russia and Russia’s role in this awful tragedy is groundless in a very big extent”, Xinhua reported.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed last Thursday in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.  Reports indicated that the Boeing 777 crashed after being hit by a missile. US President Barack Obama said initial investigations showed that the missile was fired from an area in Ukraine controlled by anti-Kiev militants. The Russian ambassador said Russia had been calling for a fair, transparent and full investigation by the international experts from the beginning.

Meanwhile, she said it was also not fair to squarely blame the pro-Russian separatists on shooting down of MH17.  “If you ask me, I am convinced that there is no way they could have done it. They don’t have the means to do it,” she said. “I am not a military expert, but that BUK missile system is so sophisticated that you need special training to operate it,” she said, adding that “the rebels did not have the book or qualification to operate it, but the Ukrainian military has it”. Moreover, she also dismissed accusations that the rebels had hindered the investigation, saying that the rebels were “eager to cooperate” from the first day the incident occurred.