- 1440 Daily Digest
MH17 Probe Implicates Putin
International prosecutors say Russian President Vladimir Putin is believed to have approved a decision to supply long-range missiles to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July 2014 and killed nearly 300 people on board. The implication comes from an international team tasked with investigating those responsible for launching the missile (see background). The team said they had documented indications of Putin's role in the downing through recorded phone conversations of Russian officials, but the evidence wasn't complete enough to initiate a new prosecution. The conclusion follows a Dutch court ruling in November, which sentenced two Russians and a Ukrainian separatist in absentia to life in prison for shooting down the plane. The incident happened amid a separatist struggle in eastern Ukraine, facilitated by Russia seeking control of the Crimean Peninsula. Moscow has denied involvement in the plane's destruction and maintains the verdicts are politically motivated.