US general: Russian arms likely used in shootdowns

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The weapons that separatists used to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft, including the June 14 downing of a transport plane that killed all 49 aboard, were probably supplied by Russia, the U.S. commander of NATO forces in Europe said Monday.

"It's a very good likelihood, but we haven't tied the string directly together yet," Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove told a Pentagon news conference.

Breedlove said the Russians are providing a variety of heavy weaponry to the separatists who are fighting in eastern Ukraine, including anti-aircraft weapons and tanks.

He also said while there are positive signs of progress toward ending the conflict, he will remain doubtful as long as Russia supports the separatists.

"There is good rhetoric, there are some good words about a ceasefire," he said. "But what we see is continued conflict, continued support of the conflict" from Russia. "Until we see those things turn around I think we need to watch with a wary eye."

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