News / Europe

Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crashi
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Henry Ridgwell
July 19, 2014 3:44 PM
The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash
Henry Ridgwell

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world.  With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame.

Strewn across the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine, the belongings of 298 innocent civilians - vacationers, business travelers, families and crew. Victims, it appears, of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels playing out 10,000 meters below.

Given the plane’s altitude, military analysts suspect that Russian-made SA-11 BUK missiles like these were used to shoot it down.

This video supplied by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry purports to show a ‘BUK’ launcher heading back towards Russia from rebel held-territory Friday. One missile is absent.

US President Barack Obama called the incident an outrage.

“The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from territory that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine. We also know that this is not the first time that a plane has been shot down in eastern Ukraine,” he said. 

Ukraine’s prime minister placed the blame squarely on Russian-backed separatists.

“We have started an independent investigation and called on governments of [foreign] countries to hold an international investigation into this tragedy that is without doubt an act of terrorism," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any involvement - and blamed the crash on Ukraine.

“Of course, the state on whose territory this happened carries the responsibility for this terrible tragedy,” he said.

It is the second tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines this year after the disappearance of Flight MH370 in March.  Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, echoed the calls for justice.

“If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice,” said Razak.

  • Vice President Joe Biden:  ``(The plane) apparently has been shot down - shot down, not an accident, blown out of the sky.''
  • President Vladimir Putin: ``This tragedy would not have happened if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed. And without doubt, the government of the territory on which it happened bears responsibility for this frightening tragedy. We will do everything that we can so that an objective picture of what happened can be achieved. This is a completely unacceptable thing.''
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel: ``We need to start an independent investigation as quickly as possible. A ceasefire is needed for that and it's important that those responsible are bought to justice. There are many indications that the plane was shot down, so we have to take things very seriously.  (I am making) a very clear call for the Russian president and government to make their contribution to bringing about a political solution.''
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak: ``If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice.''
  • Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko:  ``(The) tragedy showed again that terrorism is not localized, but a world problem. And the external aggression against Ukraine is not just our problem, but a threat to European and global security.''
  • Aleksandr Borodai, Prime Minister of the self proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic: ``Apparently, it's a passenger airliner ... truly shot down  by the Ukrainian Air Force.''
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: ``We all know that there are problems in Ukraine. We also know who is very substantially to blame for those problems, and the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this had anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian air space frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.''

 

189 of the victims were Dutch nationals.  Prime Minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte pledged a full investigation.

“The darkest scenario has become true; we have been hit by one of the biggest air disasters in Dutch history. The whole of the Netherlands is in shock," he said.

Around 100 of the passengers were on their way to an AIDS conference in Australia. The Australian Prime Minister said Russia must not be allowed to stand in the way of a full inquiry.

The conflict in Ukraine has touched all corners of the world at appalling human cost.  There could also be a high diplomatic price to pay.

  • Emergency workers carry a stretcher with a victim's body in a bag at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, July 19, 2014.
  • Flowers are placed on a plane engine at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, July 19, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, July 19, 2014.
  • A woman holds an anti-Putin placard to protest the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in Sydney, Australia, July 19, 2014.
  • Passengers' belongings are pictured at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 before a visit by OSCE monitors, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 18, 2014.
  • People bring flowers and candles to the Dutch embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, to commemorate the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash.
  • People walk amongst the debris at the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine.
  • A relative of passengers on flight MH17 cries as he waits in a bus to be transported to an unknown location to receive more information, at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • People take photos of a screen showing arrival details of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (C) at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang.
  • A woman reacts to news regarding a Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed in eastern Ukraine at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia.
  • The upper floor of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, is closed for media and reserved for family and relatives of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17.
  • A relative walks past members of the press as he arrives at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Smoke rises up at a crash site of a passenger plane, near the village of Grabovo, Ukraine.
  • A part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane is seen after it crashed near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
  • The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
  • The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.
  • The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen at the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region.

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Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
July 20, 2014 9:24 AM
A Diplomatic crisis? ... Let's be honest, the Ukraine, US, EU, and NATO countries, and the western news media keeps spreading falsified misinformation about the Malaysian airliner crash, and repeating what the western governments tell them to report.....

It was reported on 06-29-2014..... a Ukraine anti-aircraft missile defense regiment (A-1402) was overrun, and looted, and a Ukrainian (PUK) missile defense system was taken, by either pro-Russian separatists, or Ukraine right-wing extremists, and the Ukraine, US, EU, and NATO countries knew this, without notifying all the worlds airliners.... is the news media telling actual facts? .... or propaganda?

The so called (experts) the western news media interview, were in the military or flew planes without any expertize in a (PUK) missile defense system, or what or who, really brought the Malaysian plane down..... anonymous sources? ..... REALLY?

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