Arrested DPR anti-air commander denies involvement in MH17 air disaster

Vladimir Tsemakh, a former anti-air commander in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), denies any involvement in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines passenger liner over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, the Ukrainski Novyny News Agency reports.

“At the time I was outside the city of Snizhne, performing certain tasks,” Tsemakh told reporters at the Kyiv Court of Appeal, adding that he was not at all involved in the catastrophe.

Tsemakh claims that in the interview that he gave to a member of Russia’s Rodina party in 2015, he was not talking about his involvement in the downing of flight MH17 and the transportation of the Buk anti-air missile system used to do so. He also claims to be unaware of any Russian soldiers in the Donbas.

He is pleading not-guilty and believes that he was arrested illegally. He claimed that “according to international law” the DPR is not a terrorist organization.

The Kyiv Court of Appeal has kept Tsemakh in detention.

Tsemakh was arrested in the city of Snizhne (Donetsk province) and brought into Kyiv-controlled territory. Oleksandr Danylyuk, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said that Tsemakh possesses valuable information about Russia’s involvement in the MH17 catastrophe.

  Ukraine, Russia, MH17