(QHA) -

Terrorists planned to shoot down a Russian Aeroflot aircraft instead of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing jet to justify the invasion of Ukraine.

Head of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko announced at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

"It has been established during the investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 passenger plane that terrorists and military mercenaries cynically planned a terrorist attack against a civilian aircraft of Aeroflot, Flight AFL2074, en route from Moscow to Larnaca, which was flying over Ukrainian territory at the same time," Nalyvaichenko said.

According to Nalyvaichenko, the terrorists, including their leader Igor Girkin, expected a full-scale deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine during the night of July 18, UNIAN reports. In fact, it was on July 18 that Russian media began to report on the supposed shelling of Russian territory by Ukrainian troops.

Malaysian Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17 on the territory of Ukraine, near the border with Russia. All the 298 people on the board died.