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Pompeo urges Russia to act after murder charges laid over MH17 downing

This image shows a man standing at a podium with posters of four men behind him.
Wilbert Paulissen of the Joint Investigation Team holds a press conference, June 19. Photo: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that Russia should ensure its citizens who are charged with murder over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in 2014 face justice.

Details: 4 men, 3 with close "ties to Russian military and intelligence agencies," will face murder charges over the incident that killed 298 people, per the New York Times. However, Russian authorities labeled the charges "absolutely unfounded accusations," according to AFP news agency.

The big picture: The charges are based on an investigation coordinated by the Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium, Australia and Malaysia, the Times reports. The missile that struck the airplane "caused the worst single loss of life for civilians during the Ukraine war, which has continued for more than five years," per the Times.

Go deeper: Missile that took down Malaysia Air flight belonged to Russian brigade