Anatoly Antonov, deputy defense minister, said that U.S. intelligence did not do diligent research, and instead "mostly cited social networks." In fact, had U.S. intelligence cited only social networks, they would have been able to confirm the separatists were responsible almost two hours before anyone knew the plane crashed. Before news of the MH17 crash broke, rebel leader Igor Girkin posted on social media that rebels had shot down a "military transport aircraft." Instead, it ended up being a commercial airliner. Girkin quickly removed the post.
Russia's ambassador to Britain, Alexander Yakovenko, also said the U.S. has no real evidence. "Russia doesn't supply weapons to local de facto (separatist) authorities in eastern Ukraine...no evidence whatsoever has been presented that the Russian government has been doing this."
However, a NATO source confirmed to Reuters that they had seen arms being transported from Russia to eastern Ukraine. The information Russia is denouncing is coming from multiple sources around the world. The U.S. is even saying that artillery shelling now being directed at Ukraine is being fired by the Russian military from the other side of the border.
While U.S. intelligence has not directly stated Russia is responsible for the shooting, they have been able to link Russia to the missile, and "still believed the separatists were likely to blame." Additionally, Alexander Khodakovsky, a rebel leader, stated the separatists have a BUK missile system. This missile system is likely what fired the shot that took down MH17. Alexander Borodai, the self proclaimed prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, denied having this system.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.