Just to reiterate: four months ago MH17 – a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam bound for Kuala Lumpur, carrying majority of passengers from the Netherlands – was shot down. 283 passengers, including 38 Australians and 15 crew members were killed on impact.
Raw footage has now been released via Associated Press of the site immediately after the plane came down (it’s from a distance and mostly just flames but viewer discretion is advised):
Of all of the places to try and mount a recovery mission, Ukraine is in no way ideal. Formerly of the Soviet Union, Ukraine is a nation and peoples currently torn between Russia and the EU and potentially on the brink of civil war (and war in general). Furthermore, the territory where the plane went down, near Hrabove, just so happens to be controlled by the pro-Russian camp.
Due to the obvious safety concerns this implies, a majority of the wreckage of MH17 seen above is still scattered across an 8 square mile radius in Ukraine with a team overseen by Dutch experts only now removing crucial debris and human remains, that will then be sent on to the Netherlands.
A spokesperson for the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) monitoring body overseeing the recovery, Michael Bociurkiw, told the BBC they were “trying to recover the wheels, wings and fuel tanks.”
The aim is to focus on the most important parts of the debris, to help in the investigation of the crash and identify the remaining passengers.
The top video suggests that locals, whose houses were just missed by the crash, initially believed the plane to be another Ukrainian aircraft struck down. A fair assumption considering there have already been several instances of Ukrainian military aircraft being fired upon and crew members being captured by rebel forces.
After the crash on the 17th of July Donbass separatists – believed to be led by Igor Girkin – claimed responsibility for the downing; this was then retracted quick smart when it was made apparent that the plane involved was a civilian aircraft.
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) July 18, 2014
Russia, of course, maintain that Ukraine are responsible ¯_(“~)_/¯
In a move potentially employed to avoid a ‘shirtfronting,’ Russian state media released a photo in the few days leading up to the G20 in Brisbane which they say shows a Ukrainian jet shooting down MH17:
The photo has been roundly condemned as a fake, citing various size and geographical placement discrepancies. We’ve since uncovered a photo that suggests an alternative scenario:
via the Adobe Intelligence Agency.
Realistically it’s not likely that either side would have risked the outrage of the international community by actively shooting down a passenger flight but whoever it was that done fucked up is going to need to take responsibility eventually.
Overall the vibe of the international community is: Putin, bro, if you’re going to go against international law and casually invade Crimea and Ukraine to ‘defend’ the pro-Russian separatists there, you’re going to need to take some responsibility for what the radicals amongst them are doing.
In an article entitled ‘The Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Is a Game Changer’ Julia Ioffe wrote, “Putin has started something he can’t finish, unleashing a dangerous force he no longer fully controls — nor does he seem to care to — and it’s costing more and more lives.” If Putin’s G20 appearance is anything to go by, he is certainly projecting an air of not giving a single Russian fuck.
According to United Nations figures over 4,100 people have lost their lives due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Thinking of all the lives brutally lost, it’s times like this that we sadly realise the people in charge of our world are human and routinely just as bloody incompetent as the rest of us.