298 PEOPLE DEAD … BLAME GAME UNDERWAY
A Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying 298 passengers and crew has been reportedly shot down over Ukraine – killing all aboard.
The Boeing 777 – bound from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – was reportedly felled by a surface-to-air missile. Accounts of charred bodies and burning wreckage quickly littered international media accounts.
“A Boeing Malaysian Airlines that was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur began to descend about 50 kilometers before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukraine,” Russian news agency Interfax reported.
Ukraine’s government – installed by a U.S.-led coup earlier this year – denied any involvement in the incident.
“The Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky,” Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said.
Two days ago, a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet was shot down as part of escalating hostilities between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s puppet government blamed that incident on Russian fighter jets.
“Military aircraft of the Russian Federation carried out a rocket attack on a Su-25 plane of the armed forces of Ukraine,” a spokesman for Ukraine’s government said.
Malaysian officials called for an immediate investigation into the attack – which occurred while the jet was at a cruising altitude of more than 33,000 feet. Meanwhile on the ground in the disputed border regions of Ukraine fingers were pointed.
Pro-Russian separatist groups blamed the attack on the Ukrainian air force.
“The portable air defense systems which we have, they work at a maximum of three to four thousand meters,” separatist spokesman Sergey Kavtaradze said, according to the BBC. “Therefore, it is possible to say virtually before the start of the investigation that the Ukrainian armed forces destroyed this.”
Western officials – including former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton – hinted that the separatists themselves had shot the plane down, warning of “world condemnation” in response.
This is the second tragedy to befall Malaysia Airlines this year. In March another Boeing 777 traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 passengers and crew disappeared over the ocean.
That plane has not been found …
U.S. president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin held a previously scheduled conference call in the aftermath of the crash, with Obama threatening “additional sanctions” against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine.
Really? Aside from the terrible timing of such a political threat, Obama needs a refresher on what prompted this crisis in the first place.
UPDATE: Russia’s Life News was among the first media outlets on the scene. Be warned, though, some of these images are exceedingly graphic. To view them, click here.
UPDATE II: Hillary Clinton blames the tragedy on Putin.
UPDATE III: Who altered this plane’s flight path?