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Russian President Vladimir Putin likely approved the transfer of the missile system to Russian-backed separatists who shot down the Malaysia Airlines aircraft over Ukraine in 2014, according to the investigators probing the downing of the jet that killed all 298 passengers and crew, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Joint Investigation Team this week announced the conclusion of their years-long investigation into Flight MH17 flying from the Netherlands to Malaysia on July 17, 2014. The international team said they had exhausted all leads, adding that “the high bar of complete and conclusive evidence is not reached.”

In their report, investigators explained that there were “strong indications” that Putin personally approved the delivery of the Buk anti-aircraft missile system, although they noted there was inconclusive evidence to tie him to the incident.

They said, however, that the Russian leader – in power alternately as prime minister and president since 1999 – is immune from prosecution under international law and cannot be tried as long as he remains head of state.

The Kremlin has vehemently denied any involvement in the downing of the aircraft. It has also attempted to discredit evidence brought forward by Western officials and investigators.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the probe’s conclusion will be disappointing to the victims’ relatives.

The downing of MH17 followed only a few months after Russia instigated an uprising against the Ukrainian government that year, following the bringing down of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. The Donetsk People’s Republic, a self-proclaimed separatist government controlled by Moscow, was formed soon afterward.

The new report comes months after a Dutch court in November found three men – two Russians and one Ukrainian – guilty of involvement in the shooting down of the aircraft.

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