Russian brigade shot down 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight 17, say investigators

Data from Netherlands probe underscores Russia's direct responsibility for MH17 disaster

All 298 people on board - two thirds of whom were Dutch - were killed.

The statement is the closest yet investigators have come to blaming Russian Federation for the attack.

Chief Dutch Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the team came to the conclusion that Russian weapons were used despite getting no cooperation from Moscow.

The missile used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 aboard, belonged to a Russia-based military unit, an global team of investigators said Thursday after painstakingly studying video and photos of a military convoy.

Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko said there is "every reason to expect that in the near future the Dutch prosecutor's office will be able to file a prosecution against the individuals involved in shooting down the plane".

Russia's Defense Ministry issued a statement denying the involvement of the Russian military.

The Joint Investigation Team, comprising the authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine said it would give an update on its work but would not identify suspects.

Investigators appealed to the public to come forward and help identify members of the crew who operated the missile and determine how high up the chain of command the order originated.

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"If the worldwide investigative team is really interested in establishing the true culprits of the MH17 crash over Ukraine, its representatives should rely in their statements primarily on facts and eye-witnesses' evidence and not on falsifications of fake news generators from Bellingcat or the Ukrainian Security Council (SBU)", Russia's Defense Ministry stated.

A large convoy of some 50 vehicles including six BUK-TELAR missile systems left the Kursk base on June 23, 2014, the investigators said. The investigation team draws together investigators from five countries and any identified suspects would stand trial in a Dutch court.

It was hit by a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine.

The man was later exposed by investigative journalists as a fraud who was never near an air-traffic-control tower.

Joint Investigation Team (JIT) member Australian Jennifer Hurst speaks during a press conference.

A Dutch Safety Board investigation concluded in an October 2015 report the jet was brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile. The investigators showed pictures that they said traced the route the missile convoy had taken to reach eastern Ukraine. Thursday's presentation went a step further by identifying the exact unit allegedly involved and more details of the rocket involved.

She displayed an engine casing and thrust nozzle from the Buk responsible with a serial number she said indicated it had been produced at a factory near Moscow in 1986. The aircraft carried 298 people; no one survived. They now say they've narrowed their list to several dozen.

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