WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, detailing what it called evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner, on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive intelligence that officials say prove Moscow had trained and equipped rebels in Ukraine responsible for the attack.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel markings on the downed aircraft, voiceprint analysis of separatists claiming credit for the strike, and a flood of photos and other data from social media sites.
The officials also, for the first time, identified a sprawling Russian military installation near the city of Rostov as the main conduit of Russian support to separatists in Ukraine, describing it as a hub of training and weapons that has expanded dramatically in the past month. The officials said that tanks, rocket launchers and other arms have continued to flow into Ukraine even after the Thursday's downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed 298 civilians.
Analysts at the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are continuing to examine information about the crash, but U.S. officials said the intelligence assembled in the five days since the attack points overwhelmingly to Russian-backed separatists in territory they control in eastern Ukraine.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said they have ruled out the possibility that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack.
Three U.S. intelligence officials spoke on the condition of anonymity during a briefing arranged for reporters to provide more detailed information on the assertions made by administration officials in recent days, as well as to rebut Russian claims.