September 19, 2019

Did Russia Down Malaysia MH17 Intentionally?

“In Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, lying — willfully, methodically, shamelessly — is the default response to any accusations of wrongdoing. Russia did not meddle in American elections. Accusations of systematic Olympic doping are malicious foreign inventions. The Novichok nerve agent killers in Salisbury, England, were there only to admire the cathedral’s spire. Russia has nothing to do with the secessionists in eastern Ukraine.

Shaping reality to fit political maneuvering has a long tradition in the Kremlin, and unfortunately the practice is gaining popularity in the White House and among would-be authoritarians the world round. That makes it all the more important that institutions dedicated to the rule of law, to reliance on fact and to the primacy of truth should resolutely push back.

And that’s why the murder charges announced by international prosecutors on Wednesday against three Russians and a Ukrainian over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 five years ago, with the loss of 298 lives, are very important even if Russia refuses to surrender the suspects or acknowledge their culpability, as it will. Even if there are no defendants in the dock, Moscow’s lies will be.”

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