Furthermore the investigation believes that the missile was launched by the territory controlled by the Donbass militia.
Nevertheless, the JIT said that the prosecutors do not link the MH17 downing to the Russian state of Russian citizens' actions. The team said that there are some 100 people involved "in one way of another" in the MH17 plane's downing.
"The United States welcomes the interim report of the Joint Investigation Team on the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17," Kirby stated. "The United States will continue to work with the Joint Investigation Team in its investigation. We call on other states that are in a position to assist to cooperate fully so those responsible are held accountable."
"The Team’s interim findings corroborate Secretary Kerry’s statement in the days following the tragedy that MH17 was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from Russian-backed, separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine," Kirby noted.
Russia categorically denies any involvement in the catastrophe. On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moscow is disappointed with the investigation of the crash and JIT’s conclusion confirms the case is biased and politically motivated. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the probe's data are mostly provided by the Internet and Ukrainian security services.
Flight MH17 crashed on July 17, 2014, in eastern Ukraine while flying en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft died in the catastrophe.