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putin worried about his next mealRussian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed opposition to the formation of an international criminal tribunal for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 a year ago.

Calls for such a tribunal were counter-productive, news agencies quoted Putin as telling Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country plays a leading role in the international investigation of the incident. Both the leaders were holding a telephonic conversation.

The five countries undertaking the independent criminal investigation into the accident, namely Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, on Tuesday asked the UN Security Council to establish an international criminal tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of the passenger jet.

Putin said the international investigation should be “thorough and objective” and in full compliance with UN Resolution 2166.

The Boeing 777-200ER was en route from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was downed over Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.

The airliner lost contact about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and crashed near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border.

According to American and German intelligence sources, the plane was shot down by pro-Russian insurgents using a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory which they controlled.

US sources attributed the downing to a missile fired from separatist-controlled territory, with their judgement based on sensors that traced the path of the missile, analysis of shrapnel patterns in the wreckage, voice print analysis of separatists’ conversations in which they claimed credit for the strike, as well as photos and other data from social media sites.

Immediately after the crash, a post appeared on the VKontakte social media profile attributed to Russian Colonel Igor Girkin, leader of the Donbass separatists, claiming responsibility for shooting down an AN-26, but after it became clear that a civilian aircraft had been shot down, the separatists denied any involvement, and the post was taken down.

Focus News/ Agencies

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