Russia accuses US of trying to fabricate evidence over crash
Russia suggested yesterday that America was trying to fabricate evidence that separatists in eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
Anatoly Antonov, the Russian deputy defence minister, said Washington's claims that pro-Russian rebels fired a missile that hit the airliner on July 17 "mostly cited social networks" and did not correspond to reality.
Alexander Yakovenko, Russia's ambassador to Britain, also poured scorn on the widespread belief that Moscow is supplying the rebels, saying: "Russia doesn't supply weapons to local de facto authorities in eastern Ukraine" and that "no evidence whatsoever has been presented that the Russian government has been doing this."
The ambassador made the comment after a Nato source said the alliance had seen a rising flow of arms into the zone from Russia.
Mr Antonov said US intelligence experts had claimed they could "prove the guilt of the militia and almost Russia itself" and were in possession of technical data and satellite photographs to back up their accusation.
"So where is this evidence?" he asked on the Rossiya-24 channel.
"Why is it not presented to the public? Is it, if I may say so, still being finished off?"
US President Barack Obama said earlier this week that flight MH17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile that was fired from "territory that is controlled by Russian separatists".
Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, went further adding "we cannot rule out technical assistance from Russian personnel in operating the systems".
US intelligence officials appeared to backtrack somewhat later, saying they had no definitive evidence about who exactly fired the missile, or about Russian involvement. However, the officials said it was implausible that Ukrainian forces fired the missile, and that they still believed that separatists were likely to blame. (© Daily Telegraph, London)