Wednesday, July 23, 2014

U.S. Officials Lay Out Case Against Russians

Washington Seeks to Counter Russian Claims About MH17 Crash

By Siobhan Gorman in Washington and Paul Sonne in Snizhne, Ukraine, WSJ
Updated July 22, 2014 10:58 p.m. ET

U.S. intelligence officials presented reporters with their most detailed case yet Tuesday that Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists shot down a Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU jetliner last week, in a bid to counter what American officials see as Russian efforts to muddy the waters with claims of Ukrainian culpability.

The officials relied on photographs, social media, and voiceprint analysis of Ukrainian communications intercepts to make their public case that a likely SA-11 antiaircraft weapon fired from separatist-controlled territory shot down the commercial airliner, killing 298 people on board.

The evidence cited, however, didn't raise the case for Russian involvement in the shoot-down to a new level of certainty. Officials said they are still working to refine evidence and may offer more in coming days.

Other U.S. officials, including some at the Pentagon, have said more assertively in recent days that Russia likely provided the missile system used by separatists to shoot down Flight 17. The more restrained presentation by intelligence officials Tuesday reflected the cautious nature of intelligence analysis.

(More here.)

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