Dutch investigators have released the preliminary results of their investigation into the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, finding that “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft” — we laypeople tend to refer to them as missiles — brought down the plane. Investigators found “no signs of any technical faults or an emergency situation” when they looked at the black boxes. Based on the fact that the shrapnel hit the cockpit of the eastbound plane, investigators assume that the missile originated from eastern Ukraine, or areas of Russia along the border.
Really, nothing we didn’t assume before.
The Netherlands has also opened up a criminal investigation into the deaths of 193 Dutch citizens aboard the Amsterdam-bound plane.
A final report from the investigators is expected next year. The one question investigators won’t be able to answer, though, is who fired the fatal missile. Ukraine and the international community have long speculated that it was fired by pro-Russian rebels, who are believed to have acquired the sophisticated weaponry from Russia and are known to have shot down Ukrainian military planes during the months-long conflict. (Russia has consistently denied arming rebels in Ukraine’s embattled southeast, despite condemnations from NATO.) Russia, on the other hand, says the plan was likely shot down by Ukraine’s military.