BALTIMORE (WJZ) — US intelligence has evidence that Russia is behind the crash, despite the country’s denials.

Mike Hellgren has candid words from a top Maryland Congressman briefed on the investigation.

Many in Congress are blaming Russia and demanding President Vladimir Putin be held accountable.

The question of responsibility for the MH17 disaster has heightened tensions worldwide.

Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, one of the highest-ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee believes Russia unquestionably bears some of it.

“They have a lot of culpability,” he said. “They were very much involved.”

Putin ramped up forces to support rebels in Ukraine’s civil war.

Ruppersberger has been briefed on US intelligence, which includes photos of a powerful Russian surface-to-air missile launcher inside rebel-controlled Ukraine and video taken after the crash showing it heading back to the Russian border. Also, there was an intercepted phone call from a known revel leader saying, “We have just shot down a plane.”

“Whether or not it was a Russian who pulled the trigger, we don’t have that information,” Ruppersberger said.

Holding Putin responsible may come down to Europe’s will. Russia is a leading trade partner and business has kept leaders there from demanding harsh sanctions.

“We’ve got to do whatever we can to get the world together [to hold Putin responsible],” he said.

Rebels have compromised the crime scene, the shattered remnants of MH17, but Ruppersberger is confident the world will learn the truth.

The black boxes are now in the UK for analysis, which could take weeks—but will not answer the most important question: who shot down the jetliner.

The Dutch are leading a team of 24 international investigators at the crash scene but there’s no guarantee of their safety.

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