Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
On July, 17, 2014 a surface-to-air missile shot down a passenger jet carrying 298 people. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Communication with the airliner was lost about 31 miles from the Ukraine Russia border. 193 of the passengers were Dutch nationals. Naturally, Dutch authorities want to know who is responsible for the missile launch.
The Dutch formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to discover the identity of the culprits. On September 28, 2016 JIT said the surface-to-air missile came from Russia. The missile was launched from an area that was occupied by Russian-backed rebels. The missile came from Russia and was returned to Russia the day after the missile strike . JIT concluded “light MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation.”
Who’s to Blame?
Putin bears at least indirect blame for the missile struck because he started the conflict with Ukraine. Putin explicitly said he planned and orchestrated the annexation of Crimea. Here is Putin in his own words:
“I invited the leaders of our special services and the defense ministry to the Kremlin and set them the task of saving the life of the president of Ukraine, who would simply have been liquidated,” he said.
“We finished about seven in the morning. When we were parting, I told all my colleagues, ‘We are forced to begin the work to bring Crimea back into Russia’.”
This is a significant admission because, for a while, Russia said the war in Crimea was a civil war between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists.
Putin’s Russia was arming the rebels in Ukraine . Putin’s Russia was not only supporting the rebels, he ramped up his military operations after the jet went down. We learned from satellite images that Russia placed tanks and other combat vehicles along the border. Col. Steve Warren , a spokesman for the Pentagon, said Russia made plans to provide heavy rockets even after the plane went down.
So, Putin broke international law and civilians were killed as a result.
As the Telegraph concludes, “[t]he finding raises questions about the involvement of the Russian armed forces, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin himself in the disaster that say 298 civilians killed.”