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MOSCOW, July 21:

The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe.

Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defence Ministry toldRT.comtoday.

An Ukraine air force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov speaking at a media conference in Moscow today.

“[We] would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane,”he stated.

The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification,”he added.“It’s equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.”

The presence of the Ukrainian military jet can be confirmed by video shots made by the Rostov monitoring center, Kartopolov quoted as having toldRT.com.

RTis the first Russian 24/7 English-language news channel which brings the Russian view on global news.

At the moment of the MH17 crash an American satellite was flying over the area of eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s Defence Ministry. It urged the US to publish the space photos and data captured by it,RTadded.

In addition, MH17 crashed within the operating zone of the Ukrainian army’s self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air ‘Buk’ missile systems, the Russian general said.

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