Ukrainian pilot accused of shooting down MH17 kills himself

PETALING JAYA: The Ukrainian pilot accused by Russia of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 four years ago killed himself on Sunday, according to local media.

Capt Vladyslav Voloshyn, 29, reportedly shot himself at home in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea.

The BBC cited family members quoted by Ukrainian media who said Voloshyn had been feeling depressed. According to the report, Voloshyn’s family members had been at home when he shot himself, and his wife had heard the shot.

Quoting a Facebook statement from Ukrainian police, BBC said Voloshyn’s death was described as a suicide but was being investigated under premeditated murder.

Flight MH17 was shot down over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

All 298 passengers and crew members on board were killed.

Authorities concluded the plane was shot down by a Russian-made ground-to-air rocket. Moscow however denied that any of its rockets could have been used.

BBC said Russian officials claimed that Voloshyn’s plane had shot down MH17, although Voloshyn had called the allegation a lie.

Voloshyn, who was said to have participated in the 2014 battle of Ilovaisk, was described by Ukraine as a war hero.

He flew 33 combat missions against Russian-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine and had received a medal for bravery, the report said.

After resigning from the air force, he was put in charge of the Mykolaiv airport.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children, a girl and a boy.