The Trump administration Monday fired a warning shot at Russia, calling out Vladimir Putin’s regime for its part in the deaths of nearly 300 men, women and children aboard a passenger airliner.
In a statement marking the third anniversary of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by Russian-backed forces, the Trump administration placed the blame squarely on Moscow and expressed hopes for a swift prosecution.
The sentence “Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine fired the surface-to-air BUK missile — brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia” is essentially a prosecutor’s closing argument placing a mass murder suspect at the scene of the crime, holding the smoking weapon.
The statement reads:
Three years ago today 298 innocent civilians were killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The United States again extends its deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.
The United States will continue to support the efforts of the Joint Investigation Team and urges other states to cooperate fully in order to ensure those responsible are brought to justice. As we and the Joint Investigation Team have said, Russian-led forces in eastern Ukraine fired the surface-to-air BUK missile — brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia — that took down flight MH17. We welcome the team’s recent decision to grant jurisdiction to the Dutch courts for the prosecution of those responsible for this tragedy. We have full confidence in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to conduct a prosecution that is comprehensive, objective and just.