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U.S. accuses Russia of firing artillery into Ukraine

Bishkek (AKIpress) - MH17 debris The U.S. says it has evidence that Russia has fired artillery across the border targeting Ukrainian military positions, BBC reported yesterday evening.

Russia also allegedly intends “to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers” to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, according to the State Department.

Russia has frequently denied sending any rocket launchers into Ukraine.

The U.S. comment comes a week after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine, with the rebels widely accused of shooting it down.

Multinational efforts to find the cause of the crash is underway, led by the Netherlands which lost 193 of its citizens. All 298 people on board the flight died in the crash.

The U.S., which has repeatedly accused Russia of fueling separatist sentiment in eastern Ukraine, says it believes that rebels shot down flight MH17 with a Russian-provided SA-11 Buk surface-to-air missile, probably by mistake.

Leading rebels in eastern Ukraine have given conflicting accounts of whether they had control of a Buk launcher at the time the plane was downed.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday the U.S. had evidence derived from “human intelligence information” showing Russia firing artillery into eastern Ukraine.

She said the U.S. would not provide further details so as not to compromise sources and methods of intelligence collection.

Meanwhile, UK aviation investigators have managed to successfully extract data from the plane's two black boxes, the Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the investigation, said on Thursday.

They are looking for voice recordings of the last moments of the plane's flight, as well as potentially vital information from after any missile strike, which could yield clues about the impact and effect of the strike.


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