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US Dismisses Russia's 'Proof' on Kiev's Role in Boeing Crash

RIA Novosti

05:42 22/07/2014

WASHINGTON, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – The US Department of State has dismissed Russia's sensational claims suggesting that a Ukrainian fighter plane or missile systems could have been involved in the July 17 crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine.

"There is a preponderance of evidence at this point both sort of out there in the public domain and also from our information that points to the fact that there was a SA-11 launched from separatist-controlled territory," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said.

"We assess, of course, that the Russian-backed separatists have this system, and one of the main reasons we have called for a full investigation is so we can get all the facts out there," she said.

The spokeswoman said the US assessment comes from social media accounts.

When pressed on the refusal to provide intelligence data supporting the US assessment that a SA-11 missile system, also known as Buk, brought down the plane, Harf accused Russia of spreading "misinformation and propaganda."

'We are not equally credible parties … we don't put out mass amounts of propaganda,' she added.

The Russian military unveiled Monday satellite imagery showing that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed within the operating zone of the Ukrainian army's self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air Buk missile systems (NATO SA-11 'Gadfly').

The flight scheme indicates that the plane's route and possible point of destruction fall into the operational range of Buk systems deployed by the Ukrainian armed forces, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartapolov, the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia's military forces, said.

Russian monitoring systems detected up to four Ukrainian Buk M1 air defense systems in the crash area on the day of the accident, Kartapolov said. He said the intensity of Ukrainian air defense system radar stations increased dramatically on the day of the MH17 crash.

Malaysia Airlines Flight Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the town of Torez in Donetsk Region on Thursday, killing all the 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

Ukrainian government and militia have been trading blame for the alleged downing of the airliner ever since reports suggested foul play, with independence supporters saying they have no required technology to shoot a target at altitude of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Buk is a family of medium-range surface-to-air missile systems designed by the Soviet Union and Russia to engage targets at the altitude of 11 to 25 kilometers (6.8 to 15.5 miles).

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