Op-ed: The Dutch government says Russia is responsible for shooting down a Malayasian airliner over the Ukraine two years ago. Amsterdam investigated the crash because the plane had taken off from the Netherlands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has frequently been praised by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump for being a strongman.
Trump had no comment on the Dutch claim made at the United Nations.
Two former top officials in the CIA and U.S. Defense Department, Michael Morrell and Mike Vickers told the Washington Post:
“Mr. Trump, with all due respect to you as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, you cannot credibly serve as commander in chief if you embrace Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian leader has repeatedly shown himself to be an adversary of the United States. Putin, during his long tenure, has repeatedly pursued policies that undermine U.S. interests and those of our allies and partners. He has steadily but systematically moved Russia from a fledgling democratic state to an authoritarian one. He is the last foreign leader you should be praising.”
All 298 people on board died when the Malaysian Airliner, flight 17, was shot down July 17, 2014 while Russia and the Ukraine were in a conflict over who controlled Crimea.
Wikipedia said: “The incident is the deadliest airliner shoot down incident to date. All 283 passengers and 15 crew died. The crew were all Malaysian and about two-thirds (68%) of the passengers were Dutch, while many of the other passengers were Australians and Malaysians. By 19 July, the airline had determined the nationalities of all 298 passengers and crew.
“Among the passengers were delegates en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, including Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organized the conference. Many initial reports had erroneously indicated that around 100 delegates to the conference were aboard, but this was later revised to just six. Also on board were Dutch Senator Willem Witteveen,Australian author Liam Davison, and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay.”
“A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system that was used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night,” the New York Times said.
“The report largely confirmed the already widely documented Russian government role not only in the deployment of the missile system, called a Buk, or SA-11, but the subsequent cover up, which continues to this day.
“The report by a team of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine was significant for applying standards of evidence admissible in court, while still building a case directly implicating Russia, and is likely to open a long diplomatic and legal struggle over the tragedy.”
Russian TV said Russia was not involved and the Dutch had made up evidence implicating Moscow.
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Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.