The names of senior officials in the Russian government are mentioned in telephone conversations between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine about the downing of flight MH17, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) revealed in a call for witnesses on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
A series of the calls eager Vladislav Surkov, a key aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the investigators said.
The Russian officials had contact with Alexander Borodai, self-proclaimed prime minister in the DPR, and defendant Igor Girkin, self-proclaimed defence minister, it said.
According to the press release published by the JIT on Thursday, "the JIT is looking for information on the individuals within the [Russian] military and administrative hierarchy who enabled the shooting down of MH17 in Eastern Ukraine using a BUK TELAR".
DPR leaders always insisted they were volunteers not directed by anyone but the inquiry team says it has spoken to witnesses who say key figures were directed from within Russian Federation. "Communication mostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service".More news: Houston Astros sign-stealing case unlikely to hurt bottom line
The official, particularly, stated that "men are coming with a mandate from Shoygu (Sergey Shoygu is the Russian Defense Minister", - 112.international) and these men "will kick the local warlords out of the units".
"The indications for shut ties in between leaders of the DPR and Russian govt officers increase thoughts about their achievable involvement in the deployment" of the missile, the investigators said.
"They've already decided a verdict, and the rest is just an adjustment of the materials so they can support the tactics chosen by the prosecution", ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Almost 300 passengers and crew were killed.
Investigators have previously said the missile was transported to Ukraine from a Russian army anti-aircraft brigade based in the Russian city of Kursk.More news: Spotify is now testing the display of real-time lyrics during song playback
"There was nearly daily telephone contact between the leadership of the DPR and their contacts in the Russian Federation".
The team past year said it was convinced that the Buk missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 came from the Russian army's 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, based in the Russian city of Kursk. "The JIT wants to know by whom these telephone numbers were used", the JIT appeal says.
Investigators have issued national and worldwide arrest warrants for four suspects: Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy and Oleg Pulatov, all Russian citizens, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
Flight MH17 departed from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.
Russian Federation has argued that the investigation and trial is aimed at discrediting the country in the eyes of the worldwide community.More news: Germany dodges recession with surprising Q3 growth
Russian Federation also denies Western accusations that it sent ground troops as well as weapons and funding to the rebels in eastern Ukraine.