Address of the President on the occasion of the crash of Malaysia Airlines aircraft

Press office of President
President of Ukraine | 18.07.2014

Today the war has overspilled from the territory of Ukraine.

Over the past months Ukraine was overwhelmed by the events caused by the aggressors and militaries in the East of the country. But the tragedy which took place in the Ukrainian skies today is horrendous.     

Today terrorists killed three hundred people with one shot. Among them innocent children, people of many countries of the world.

Terrorists shot down a civilian Malaysian airlines aircraft, which was on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at the altitude of 10 thousand meters.

I and all Ukrainians grieve for the hundreds of innocent passengers who sadly have become victims of an aggression against us.

We offer our compassion to the relatives of those passengers and crew who will not see their loved ones again. For weeks we have shed tears over our own dead. We have tears left for the innocent victims of this crime.  

Today Ukraine mourns with you.

The State Security Service of Ukraine has intercepted a conversation in which one of the leaders of the mercenaries boasted about bringing down the plane in his reporting to his Russian supervisor, colonel of the General Intelligence Unit of Russia’s Armed Forces. Other terrorists have also boasted about their success.

In the past couple of days it is the third tragic incident, following two Ukrainian military planes which were shot down.

I have just spoken with President Barack Obama, with Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Malaysia as countries whose large numbers of citizens lost their lives in this tragedy.

I have ordered the government of Ukraine to create an investigation commission. It will join efforts with the experts of the International Civil Aviation Organization and representatives from the Netherlands, Malaysia and the United States.

Every possible search and rescue will be made. We will do everything possible for the objective international investigation. It is very unfortunate that the terrorists have already declared their desire to hide the evidence and transport the aircraft’s black boxes to Moscow.

Today’s tragedy proves again that terrorism is not a local, but a global issue. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is not only our problem, but a threat to the European and global security. Addressing this threat requires a unified global response.

By today it is evident that militaries in the East of Ukraine cannot go on alone. Russia more and more often militarily intervenes against Ukraine. Our territory is being fired on from across the border. Our planes are being shot down. Russia supplies military personnel and state of the art weapons. The hybrid war is showing all signs of an external aggression.

In the past couple of weeks, thanks to the courage and heroism of our soldiers, the territory, controlled by the terrorists, bandits and Russian mercenaries has decreased by more than half.

Each and every citizen of Ukraine is fighting for our independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Today, the whole world had seen the real face of the aggressor.

Shooting down a civilian aircraft is an act of international terrorism, targeted against the entire world.

This is a wake-up call for the whole world.

We expect for an adequate response from the international community.


MH17 Crash: A Turning Point in the Ukraine Crisis?
Alex Ward
New Atlanticist | July 18, 2014

The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17 has heightened international concern about the Ukraine-Russia conflict, tragically demonstrating the broader impact and consequences of the ongoing war.

How will this disaster impact US-Russian relations going forward? Furthermore, should the West sharpen its military and economic tools to curtail Russian aggression against Ukraine?

To answer these questions, Atlantic Council experts joined members and journalists on a call to discuss the implications of the alleged missile strike that left 298 people dead.

Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, USA (Ret.), nonresident senior fellow with the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and former director of the Missile Defense Agency, explained that anyone successfully firing a Buk missile needed significant training and skills – and had to be in the right place to hit an intended target.

Adrian Karatnycky, a nonresident senior fellow in the Transatlantic Relations Program and former director of Freedom House, reported that his sources have been saying for a while that Russians have been moving missiles and launchers into the region.

Putin’s reasoning for doing this is one of two options: either he wants a permanent zone of instability in eastern Ukraine, or he "wants to force deep concessions in negotiations" with Western power. John Herbst, director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and former ambassador to Ukraine, claimed that the "feckless Western policies" have emboldened Russian actions that led to the downing of MH17. He specifically referred to how Western leaders failed to follow through on their early June ultimatum to Putin to cease interference in Ukraine. He said that President Obama laid down solid sanctions on Wednesday – but that should have happened two weeks ago; he also said Europe’s actions were "better than nothing."

He continued that "To simply let this happen does not auger well for the peace of Europe. A clear line needs to be drawn now… Time for Western Europeans to wake up."

For a while now, he said, Russian have been giving "scores" of weapons to pro-separatist rebels, including T-64 tanks.

When asked whether the US military should provide lethal aid to the Ukraine military, Herbst said he thought the US should be providing lethal assistance such as anti-aircraft and anti-tank weaponry. At the same time, Herbst called on the US administration to craft sanctions that are as painful as possible for Russia, but not for Europe.

Putin, continued Herbst, has been "tactically shrewd" throughout the entire campaign. Only by having a strong Western response can make Russia, "a revisionist power," think twice before trying to achieve more objectives. In sum, Herbst believes "a new Russia" requires "a new Russia policy."

Karatnycky noted that he found that some in Russia’s business community and the more pragmatic members of Putin’s circle want a resolution. He called on Putin to use this tragedy to walk back the aggressive actions in Ukraine – and he called on the West to make it clear to Putin that his current moves were unacceptable and would result in significant harm to Russia’s business interests. The discussion, moderated by Barry Pavel, Council vice president and director of the Scowcroft Center, also covered subjects such as how the lack of a Western response might embolden China, whether or not tougher sanctions should be put in place, and what the immediate US response should be.



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