US has ‘complete confidence’ in probe conclusion that Russian missile downed MH17

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The U.S. is affirming new findings from investigators linking the 2014 downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane to the Russian military.

The State Department said Thursday that it has “complete confidence” in the Dutch-led probe that determined Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 had been shot down using a missile launcher from a Russian anti-aircraft brigade.

Investigators announced findings from the long-running probe on Thursday, nearly four years after the plane carrying 298 passengers from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, went down over Crimea, a Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia.


“We recall the UN Security Council’s demand that ‘those responsible … be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability,'” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. 

“It is time for Russia to cease its lies and account for its role in the shoot down.”

A spokesman for Russia’s defense ministry continued to deny any role in the attack and questioned the impartiality of the Joint Investigative Team’s findings.

“I remind that all data presented … in the briefing of the investigation team had two main sources — the Internet and the Ukrainian special services,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, according to USA Today.

“The impartiality of this data and consequently the conclusions made on its basis cannot help but cause doubts,” the general said. 

In keeping with years of denials of any military involvement in the region, the general claimed no Russian rocket launchers were sent to Crimea to aid the pro-Russian separatist forces there.

Dutch officials are now considering criminal proceedings against the Russian military over the attack, which killed 196 Dutch citizens.  

The State Department said it remains confident “in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just.” 

Tags Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Russia State Department

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