As reported by Censor.NET referring to Bild, Daniel Romein, one of the authors of MH17 - Potential Suspects and Witnesses from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade report prepared by Bellingcat group, said this an interview with Bild.
"About President Putin: the decision to send (expensive) air defense equipment without his approval/knowledge seems not very realistic, but very likely he did not know what exact type of air defense equipment would be sent to Ukraine, probably he trusted the choice of air defense commanders," the expert said.
"We indeed say the Russian Ministry of Defense bears the main responsibility, as it very likely was their decision to send air defense equipment to Ukraine, or at least that decision never could have been made without their approval. At the same time the Russian Ministry of Defense very likely never specified the exact type of air defense that had to be send to Ukraine," he stated.
"The decision to send a Buk missile launcher must have been made by commanders with more technical knowledge, so in that case it is more likely the decision was made by the commander of air defense of the 20th Army, the commander of air defense of the Western Military District or even the commander of the air defense of the Ground Forces," Romein said.
"The report is the result of an intensive investigation that took us more than a year. The research into the 53rd Brigade came after an investigation of Russian Buk unit vehicles that were filmed and photographed between June 23 and 25, 2014, which drove a route from Kursk to Millerovo. Research into attendance lists of soldiers of the 53rd Brigade resulted in the discovery of many social media profiles of these soldiers and via these profiles many other profiles of 53rd Brigade officers/commanders were found. Some of these commanders might have involvement in the MH17 tragedy, as the Buk missile launcher that downed MH17 very likely is the same missile launcher known as 'Buk 3x2' from the June 23-25, 2014 Buk convoy," the expert remarked.
"In our report we also describe commanders above the 53rd Brigade, like commanders of the 20th Army and commanders of the Western Military District. The decision to send a Buk missile launcher to Ukraine must have been made at a higher level than the 53rd Brigade," he said.
"For the separatists there were many reasons to use air defense equipment, as there were air strikes of the Ukrainian army frequently around that time. It is very likely that separatists were expecting a Ukrainian military transport plane (an IL-76), but that they indeed mixed it up with MH17 accidently. The reason why this could happen is easy: a Buk missile launcher alone is not able to see what type of plane it has on the radar. For that it needs the complete Buk system and especially the Buk Snow Drift radar, a system with a much more advanced radar," Romein concluded.