A Ukrainian military pilot accused by Russiaof shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has reportedly killed himself.
Captain Vladyslav Voloshyn, a 29-year-old SU-25 fighter pilot, denied the allegation before Dutch investigators concluded a Russian missile had destroyed the Boeing 777 plane in July 2014, killing 298 people.
Mr Voloshyn shot himself at his home in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea on Monday, Ukrainian media reported, quoting police.
He had been working at Mykolaiv airport since retiring from the airforce, where he flew 33 combat missions in the low-flying ground attack jet against Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.
He was described by Ukraine as a war hero, receiving a medal for bravery.
A statement from Mykolaiv police on Facebook described Mr Voloshyn’s death as suicide but is being investigated under the premeditated murder article of the country’s criminal code.
Mr Voloshyn’s wife said she called an ambulance after hearing gunshots at their home, but he was unable to be saved by paramedics.
A military service pistol was reportedly found at the scene and is now being examined.
Mr Voloshyn said he was the victim of a smear campaign when Russian officials and media alleged it was his plane that shot down MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
The Kremlin also alleged it was a Ukrainian military Buk missile that downed the airliner, not a Russian missile.
The Dutch-led investigation concluded MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.
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