Black boxes recovered from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in rebel-held east Ukraine show shrapnel from a rocket explosion caused the passenger jet to crash, a Ukrainian security official said Monday.
International investigators "indicated that data from flight recorders show that the reason for the destruction and crash of the plane was massive explosive decompression arising from multiple shrapnel perforations from a rocket explosion," said Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council.
Data from the doomed airliner's black boxes was decrypted in Britain after being handed over to Malaysian officials by pro- Russian rebels controlling the crash site of MH17.
Investigators leading the probe in the Netherlands, which lost 193 citizens, refused to confirm the latest information from Kiev, saying that they were "waiting to get a more complete idea of what happened."
Kiev and its Western allies have accused insurgents of shooting down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.
In Moscow, the head of the Russian experts participating in the crash probe, criticised Lysenko for commenting publicly without the authorisation of the chief of the investigation as is required by international agreements.
Oleg Storchevoi, the deputy head of Russia's air regulator, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Ukraine has "violated the basic principles of cooperation in the investigation of air crashes."