The bodies of up to 80 MH17 victims still remain in the crash site, officials have said.
The bodies of up to 80 MH17 victims still remain in the crash site, officials have said.Reuters

International prosecutors investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, that killed all 298 people on board, have concluded that the missile that hit the ill-fated plane was fired from a territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has confirmed that the missile that shot down the flight MH17 more than two years ago, was brought in from Russia and fired from the region controlled by the rebels during the conflict in eastern Ukraine, reported The Independent.

"It may be concluded, MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 missile launched by a Buk, brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and that after launch was subsequently returned to the Russian Federation," the website quoted Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Dutch Central Crime Investigation Department, as saying.

"The conclusion is that MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile launched from a site around six km south of the village of Snizhne," he added.

An intercepted phone conversation has the rebel fighters discussing the arrival of a Buk missile system, and the investigators "traced the convoy carrying the Buk, originally with four missiles, from the Russian border through Donetsk, Torez, Snizhne and on to the launch site in the hours before MH17 was downed," according to the website.

Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed militants have until now blamed each other for firing the missile.

The Boeing 777-300 carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members was shot down on July 17, 2014. All the passengers on board the flight, which was flying to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, were killed.