A top Russian general has vowed to sue over allegations he helped coordinate the 2014 downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, a disaster that killed 298 people and triggered a years-long international investigation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team probing the crash has previously blamed the Russian military for supplying the rocket launcher used to take down the passenger plane, but investigators have so far struggled to identify specific Russian military officials involved. On Friday, however, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, McClatchy DC, and The Insider named one of the most infamous figures involved in the catastrophe as retired General Nikolai Tkachyov. Using professional voice analysis, the report claims Tkachyov’s voice is the one heard on intercepted communications with Russian-backed separatist fighters in which a man called “Delfin” can be heard directing the fighters on where to move the rocket launcher believed to have brought down MH17. International investigators are now reportedly reviewing the findings. Tkachyov has hit back against the report, however, telling Russia’s Novaya Gazeta on Saturday that he is not “Delfin” and he will sue the publications for defamation. Tkachyov also refuted the claim that he was in eastern Ukraine in 2014, claiming he has been working on the “patriotic education of youths” in Yekaterinburg for the past several years.
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