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MH17 Crash Investigators to Publish Preliminary Report Next Week

Armed separatists stand guard as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and members of a Malaysian air crash investigation team inspect the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region, Ukraine.

Dutch authorities leading the investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine will publish their preliminary report on Tuesday, the Dutch Safety Board said in a statement Thursday.

"The preliminary report will present factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board," the agency leading the inquiry said.

The airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed over conflict-ridden eastern Ukraine on July 17 under unclear circumstances, killing all 298 people — most of them Dutch — on board.

The U.S. government says it has satellite images proving that the aircraft was shot down from the area controlled by pro-Russian insurgents. Russia, in turn, says the plane could have been downed by Ukrainian government forces.

The tragedy occurred amid one of the worst standoffs between Russia and the West since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict.

The final report on the flight will be published within a year of the crash, investigators said. The team responsible for the report has not visited the crash site itself. Attempts by international investigators to access the site were hampered for days after the disaster by continuing fighting in the area.

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