Four to Face Murder Charges in Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 – The New York Times

One intercepted communication pointed right to the heart of the Kremlin. It indicated that a senior Russian official, Vladislav Y. Surkov, a former Russian deputy prime minister who was a senior domestic policy adviser to Mr. Putin for more than a decade, helped coordinate the provision of the antiaircraft weapon.

The destruction of the Malaysia Airlines flight on July 17, 2014, caused the worst single loss of life for civilians during the Ukraine war, which has continued for more than five years. The 283 passengers and 15 crew members on the flight, which was en route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from Amsterdam, came from about a dozen countries; 193 of the passengers were Dutch.

The long-haul jetliner, a Boeing 777-200ER, disintegrated in the sky, scattering bodies and debris over a large area of sunflower fields and three villages in rural eastern Ukraine.

The United States and other Western governments blamed Russia almost immediately after the disaster. At the time, Russian-backed separatists had been targeting Ukrainian spotter planes flying into the war zone from the west at altitudes only several thousand feet lower than that of the commercial air traffic on international routes.

The Russian government has consistently denied any involvement, and in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, said the Kremlin did not accept the findings of the Joint Investigative Team, because Russia was not a member.

Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement saying that, “once again, absolutely groundless accusations are being made against the Russian side, aimed at discrediting the Russian Federation in the eyes of the international community.”

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