News / Europe

    Mounting Anger, Calls for Truth About Malaysia Airlines Crash

    • 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.''
    World Leaders Comment on MH17
    Lisa Bryant

    Along with shock and grief, demands are growing for a full investigation into the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine that killed nearly 300 people. There is mounting consensus that the crash was caused by a missile strike.

    Stock markets plunged on Friday, a day after a Malaysia Airlines jet crashed and burned in a wheat field in rebel-occupied eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The United Nations Security Council was to hold an emergency session to consider a call for a full, independent, international investigation.

    Officials in the U.S. say a missile hit the plane - a conclusion experts elsewhere are reaching as well.  In Ukraine, authorities and pro-Russian separatists are trading accusations over the crash. In televised remarks, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described it as an act of terrorism and called for a full investigation.

    Rockets have shot down passenger planes before. Here are a few examples:

    October 4, 2001

    Ukraine's military is conducting an exercise shooting missiles at drones when one missile locks onto a Siberia Airlines plane en route from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv.  All 78 people on board are killed.

    July 3, 1988

    U.S. warship Vincennes mistakes Iranian passenger plane for a threatening warplane during the war between Iraq and Iran. All 290 people on board are killed when the airliner is shot down over the Gulf.

    September 1, 1983

    A Soviet fighter jet shoots down a Korean Air Lines passenger jet over Soviet airspace after mistaking it for a spy plane. All 269 people on board are killed, including U.S. Representative Lawrence McDonald of Georgia.

    April 20, 1978  

    A Soviet fighter plane attacks an off-course South Korean jetliner. Two passengers die after the plane is forced to crash land.

    February 21, 1973

    Israeli jets fire at a Libyan Airlines flight traveling from Tripoli to Cairo that drifted into Israeli airspace. Israel claims the plane refused to identify itself. The airliner loses control and crashes, killing 108 people. Five survive the crash.

     

    "Everyone is to be accountable and responsible. I mean everyone who supports these terrorists, including [the] Russian Federation and Russian regime," said President Poroshenko.

    Russia denies any involvement in the downing. For their part, Ukrainian separatists have reportedly agreed to help in the investigation and offer experts safe access to the crash site.

    Like elsewhere in the world, the crash is dominating the airwaves in the Netherlands, where flags are flying at half staff in mourning for the 173 Dutch passengers who died. The plane also carried citizens from eight other nations, including Malaysia, Australia and Britain.

    Speaking shortly after the crash, President Barack Obama joined other world leaders in offering his condolences to the victims' families and loved ones.

    "I directed my National Security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance it can to determine what happen and why," said President Obama.

    What happened - and why - is the question being asked around the world.

    Following an emergency meeting in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron told Sky News the crash was appalling and shocking.

    "If, as seems possible, [the plane] was brought down, then those responsible must be held to account and we must lose no time in doing that," said Cameron.

    French President Francois Hollande called the crash a "terrible tragedy."

    Hollande also demanded that the truth should be established and consequences drawn.

    In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak called the crash a tragedy in what has been a tragic year. Another Malaysian aircraft disappeared in March carrying 239 people on board.
     
    At a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian officials again said that Flight 17 did not make a distress call and had been flying on a route declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization. But there are reports that air routes were closed near the Ukrainian border just hours before the crash, including one on the plane's flight path.

    The crash comes just a day after the United States and the European Union tightened sanctions against Russia for its alleged support of separatists in Ukraine, where a months-long conflict between government and rebels has killed more than 600 people.  

     

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Quang Ha from: Vietnam
    July 19, 2014 5:43 AM
    Hey Russia, Ukraine, the rebels and the West, stop trading accusations towards each other. It is not the right time for making use of such event and the deaths for your dirty political purposes. All of you are to blame for this because you have turned that region into a deadly war zone for your own interests so civilian casualties are inevitable, sooner or later. If you try to fire at someone with tanks, airfighters...you must expect them to fire back at you with similar means...and innocent civilians will surely suffer. All of you are hypocrites, no more, no less!

    by: MARIA JACKSON from: HARARE
    July 19, 2014 1:05 AM
    WHEN WILL IT ALL END????? MH370 YET TO COME TO A CONCLUSION......VERY SAD

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora