New findings on downing of MH17

Just over two years after Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine international investigators published their latest findings on Wednesday, according to which the plane was hit by a Buk missile fired by a rocket launcher brought from Russia into the rebel area. Moscow should admit its partial responsibility for the tragedy, commentators urge, arguing that sooner or later the culprits will be brought to justice anyway.

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Mladá fronta dnes (CZ) /

Culprits will eventually be brought to justice

It may take a long time, but those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 will be convicted, Mladá fronta dnes is convinced:

“The Commission has not only documented the crime in detail, it has also conducted investigations into the 100 culprits and accomplices. And as it wants to see them convicted, it is continuing its work on the case. Let no one say this is just a pipe dream in a country like Russia where it's not really possible to convict an individual without putting the entire system on trial. ... For those who lived through the horrors of the Second World War it was also very hard to imagine that culprits would be tracked down and brought to trial more than 70 years after the fact. But not only is this possible, it is actually happening.”

Savon Sanomat (FI) /

Russia's lies are an embarrassment

Buk missiles were fired in Finland for test purposes in the course of the MH17 investigations, according to a spokesperson for the Finnish defence committee. Rather than criticising the fact that the test was kept secret for so long, Savon Sanomat finds fault with Russia's refusal to accept the facts:

“The public outcry is superfluous. Finland had no choice but to participate in the investigations into what was potentially a serious war crime. It was obliged to do so by the resolution passed by the UN Security Council soon after the plane's downing two years ago. ... The squabbling over the destruction of the Malaysian Airlines jet and the death of 298 people is annoying and embarrassing, but only for Russia. Because Moscow is denying all the evidence and the facts and continuing to spread false information. It would be better for Russia to admit responsibility and cooperate with the international investigating group to find out how the guilty parties can be held to account. Perhaps that will still happen.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Mass murder made in Moscow

Russia's joint responsibility for the shooting down of MH17 can no longer be denied, De Telegraaf comments:

“The prosecutors are now convinced that what many had suspected has been incontrovertibly proven: the people on board MH17 were killed by a Russian missile fired from a missile launcher that Russia had supplied to the pro-Russian separatists. One day after the attack the missile launcher was back on Russian soil. Then the propaganda machine was revved up to the max to cover up Russia's role. The investigators have been very professional about putting an end to Moscow's constant attempts to deceive the international community. Russia's partial responsibility has been exposed more clearly than ever before. The mass murder that was perpetrated on 17 July 2014 now definitively bears the stamp: Made in Moscow.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Putin's aggressive regime is to blame

Moscow is to blame for the downing of MH17 no matter how you look at it, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung believes:

“With its veto in the UN Security Council Russia prevented the establishment of a broad-based tribunal. So it's questionable whether those responsible will ever be held to account. Moscow wouldn't have had to use its veto if it had had nothing to hide. Of course Ukraine and the airline can also be held partially responsible. The airspace wasn't entirely closed, some airlines kept flying blithely over eastern Ukraine. And if you care to extend the scope of responsibility even further you'll once again end up in Moscow. Without Vladimir Putin's aggressive regime the war in Ukraine would never have started in the first place. Ultimately Putin bears the blame not only for the 298 civilian lives, but also for the 10,000 casualties in the Ukraine conflict.”

Postimees (EE) /

Only sanctions can keep Russia in check

The West differs from Russia also in its efforts to solve the crime, Postimees explains:

“This establishes the basis for the Russian military and leaders to be called to account for war crimes in the future. The same should apply for the war crimes now being committed in Syria, where there is also good reason to suspect the Kremlin's toadies. … The precise presentation of evidence is part of Western culture. We must assume that the power of the paragraphs will catch up with the culprits only in an imaginary future when Russia is governed by a democratic government. This is why the sanctions and other steps taken by the free world to prevent the aggressors from committing new crimes are so important.” (DE) /

A UN tribunal should have cleared up the case

Instead of providing conclusive answers to the question of who was responsible the investigation report is falling prey to global politics, laments

“There was a time when such a disaster would have been cleared up by people working together in a spirit of rapprochement. Today, however, the shooting down of MH17 stands a good chance of featuring in the 'Guinness Book of Conspiracy Theories'. The Russian government, which is severely indicted by the report, has denied any involvement in the crash. ... Of course the credibility of the investigating team isn't bolstered by the fact that it includes Ukraine but not Russia. Nevertheless the Ukrainian side is given co-responsibility for the 298 fatalities. ... All of this could have been cleared up by a UN tribunal, as the investigators wanted. But that plan was vetoed by Russia, leaving little hope that reason and enlightenment will prevail in the end. So the case of MH17 above all demonstrates one thing: the dismal state of global politics.”