Fragments of a Buk anti-aircraft missile have been found in the bodies of victims of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 disaster in eastern Ukraine, an investigator has said.
Vasyl Vovk, a senior officer of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) who headed the Ukrainian contribution to the joint investigation into the disaster, said the fragments found amongst the aircraft wreckage and in victims' bodies matched parts from two Buk missiles that investigators dismantled for comparison.
"The fragments found in the bodies of the victims and the remains of the aircraft, are elements that resemble the samples from Buks given to experts for comparative research," Vovk told Dutch news site NOS.
The comments come just a week before the Dutch-led air safety investigation releases its report into the causes of the disaster on October 13.
MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpa when it was destroyed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
All 298 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777 were killed, including 10 Britons.
Western governments have accused Russian-backed separatists of shooting down the airliner with a Buk SA-11 missile after mistaking it for a Ukrainian military aircraft.
The separatists and the Russian Government have in turn blamed Ukraine for the disaster, saying it was downed either by a Ukrainian Buk missile or a fighter jet.
An investigation by the Daily Telegraph earlier this year found strong evidence that separatists had been operating a Buk missile launcher in the area of the crash on the day MH17 was downed.
Investigators have previously said that shoot down by an anti-aircraft missile is considered a leading theory, but have not publicly ruled out other possible causes of the disaster.
An intermediate report published in September concluded only that the Boeing's fuselage had been penetrated by "multiple high-energy objects" - a type of damage consistent with the cloud of shrapnel sent out by a Buk warhead, but not unique to it.
A joint international investigation led by the Dutch Safety Board is due to release its full report into the causes of the crash.
A separate criminal investigation, led by Dutch detectives and including teams from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and Ukraine, is not expected to report before the new year.
The criminal investigation is expected to present a dossier of evidence to prosecute charges of murder and possibly warcrimes.
Russia in July vetoed a proposal to create a United Nations tribunal consider the evidence presented by the joint criminal investigation, saying such a move was "premature" and citing concerns about the impartiality of the investigation.