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Russian experts apportion full blame for Malaysian jet crash to Ukrainian authorities

July 18, 2014, 21:28 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

MOSCOW, July 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian authorities, which are unable to put an end to anarchy and tumult in the country, bear the full brunt of responsibility for the crash of the Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 jet crash in the east of the Donetsk region Thursday.

They say that the world community cannot tolerate a situation of this kind any longer and it should set up a no-flight zone over the territory of Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, disappeared from radar screens and fell in the Donetsk region Thursday afternoon. The altitude at which it was traversing the area was open for international transit flights, since the Ukrainian authorities did not restrict air traffic at the altitudes exceeding 9,600 meters.

The leadership of the unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic said it had nothing to do with the crash. “The self-defense forces don’t have the armament systems capable of bringing down a jet at an altitude of ten kilometers,” Sergei Kavtgaradze, a spokesman for the government, said.

“We have shoulder-carried missile launchers that reach out to altitude of 3 km to 4 km at the most,” he said.

The authorities of the DPR said entire blame for the airliner’s downing should go to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

“Responsibility for the tragedy - whatever the results that the investigation may produce - is borne by Kiev because it’s the Ukrainian authorities that are to be blamed for letting the jet into that area,” said Vladimir Zharikhin, First Deputy Director of the CIS Research Institute.

Infographics Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine
Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers have died. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
“This was either a glaring lack of responsibility or thriftiness - because they would lose money after closing the air corridor - or malicious intents,” he said. “All the ruminations about the safety of flights at these altitudes are totally unsatisfactory as arguments.”

Now Kiev will obviously be trying to relegate its blame to others and the investigation will be complicated by the fact that it will be conducted in an area of combat operations.

Zharikhin recalled an incident dating back to 2001 when the Ukrainian military mistakenly targeted an antiaircraft missile at a Tupolev-154 jet of Russia’s Sibir Arlines that was flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk at the altitude of 11,000 meters. Apart from authorities’ unwillingness to recognize the fault, the Ukrainian court refused to pay compensations to the citizens of Israel whose relatives died in the tragedy.

“This shows how irresponsible is the Ukrainian ruling elite,” Zharikhin said.

He believes that the tragedy with the Malaysian jet may entail far-reaching consequences for the entire situation around Ukraine.

“Certain political forces will surely be interested in clutching at this opportunity,” Zharikhin said adding that the U.S. will certainly utilize it for goading the EU into more sanctions against Russia.

Nikolai Mironov, the director of the Institute for Priority Regional Projects, feels confident that the jet crashed after being shot down, not in connection with whatever internal problems.

“Let’s recall the South Korean Boeing 747, which the USSR brought down over its territory September 1, 1983,” Mironov said when interviewed by the ITAR-TASS Center for Political Analysis. “The world community offered a tough reaction then - it accused the Soviet Union of the desire to unleash a war, of aggression, and so on, but now the very same things should be said about Ukraine.”

Political scientist Maxim Zharov said on his part that Thursday’s tragedy should be investigated only under the auspices of the UN and ICAO.

“Russia should also file a demand with ICAO that the latter impose a full ban on commercial aviation flights in Ukrainian airspace,” he said.


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