The Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, July 21, that a second plane was spotted near Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 before it crashed.
In a press conference, a Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartapolov, head of the Main Operations Department of the Russian Army General Staff, claimed that a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter plane was spotted about 3 to 5km (about 1.9 to 3.1 miles) near MH17 before it crashed.
“Records show that the Ukrainian Air Force plane ascended to the distance of 3-5 km from the Malaysian Boeing,” said Kartapolov.
“The Su-25 can fly at altitudes of up to 10 km. It is armed with P-60 air-to-air missiles that can hit targets at a distance of up to 12 km and reliably within 5 km.”
“This is borne out by the video footage obtained by the Rostov monitoring center. We would like to know why the Ukrainian plane was flying along a civilian route on the same flight path as the Malaysian Boeing,” Kartapolov added.
Although Kartapolov did not accuse the Ukraine warplane of shooting down Flight MH17, some Twitter users note that Russia could be implying that fact.
Kartapolov also said that Russia did not detect any missile launched near the doomed Malaysia flight, and that Russia never provided any Buk SA-11 missile systems to the Donetsk separatists, or “any other weapons,” according to Reuters.
The Russian military official concluded by asking the United States to “show the world community” how they got their information that a surface-to-air missile launcher was used.