In Putin’s World, Crime Pays

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – October 3, 2016) By most objective standards, last week’s news should have been an unmitigated disaster for Vladimir Putin’s regime. By most objective standards, the Kremlin should be worried that it risks becoming an international pariah. By most objective standards, September 28 should have been a dark day for Russia. Dutch investigators on […]

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Analysis: ‘Barbarous’ Syria Bombings, MH17 Blame: What Consequences Could Russia Face?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Steve Gutterman – September 30, 2016) In terms of its reputation, Russia has had one of its worst weeks ever. Incensed that Moscow is pushing ahead with the “barbarous” bombing of Aleppo and angry over an attack on an aid convoy that is widely blamed on Russian and Syrian forces, the United States is threatening to […]

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Russian Officials Dig In On MH17, As Critics Decry ‘Politics Of Denial’

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – September 29, 2016) MOSCOW — A series of denials by Russian officials and state-media allegations of bias and foul play present a view that is starkly discrepant with international criminal investigators’ findings, announced this week, over the downing of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) interim […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia Implicated in Shooting Down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Over Ukraine” – New York Times

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

A Dutch-led investigation has concluded that the powerful surface-to-air missile system … used to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine two years ago, killing all 298 on board, was trucked in from Russia at the request of Russian-backed separatists and returned to Russia the same night. … largely confirm[ing] the already widely documented Russian government role not only […]

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BBC Accuses British, Russian Media Of Skewing MH17 Reporting

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – Carl Schreck – April 25, 2016) The BBC has issued a rare defense of an upcoming documentary about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, accusing British media of distorting its report about a tragedy that killed 298 passengers and crew in July 2014. A report by Britain’s Sunday Express tabloid “misrepresented” the BBC program, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Dutch referendum on Ukraine: A hard Dutch kick: Voting down the EU’s treaty with Ukraine would hand Vladimir Putin a win.” – The Economist

EU Map

… Yanukovych … succumbed to Russian pressure and renounced an association agreement with the European Union that he and his predecessors had spent six years negotiating. Many Ukrainians thought their country’s best hope for transforming itself from a corrupt gangster state into an orderly democracy … had been sacrificed on the orders of … Putin …. Thousands set up camp […]

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RBTH: Manufacturer of BUK missiles disagrees with Dutch official report on MH17

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

The Dutch Safety Board has finally released its long-awaited report on the MH17 disaster. According to the findings, the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a BUK 9M38M1 missile. However, the maker of the BUK rockets, the Almaz-Antey company, has published its own document with different findings. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Timoshenko, Nadezhda Ustinova, RBTH […]

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Infowar Continues as Russian, MH17 Investigations Reach Different Conclusions

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner, Eva Hartog – October 14, 2015) The Dutch Safety Board and Russians arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey on Tuesday told a similar story about what caused the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last year, but had a politically charged crucial difference of opinion on what type of warhead was used – and consequently, […]

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Interfax: Ukraine rebels say they “did not have” Buk missile system at time of MH17 crash

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – October 13, 2015) Eduard Basuryn (Basurin), the deputy defence minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, has once again said that the east Ukrainian insurgents did not have access to a Buk surface-to-air missile system at the time when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 13 October. Earlier in the […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: “Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Most Likely Hit by Russian-Made Missile, Inquiry Says”

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

October 13, 2015 The New York Times covers the Dutch investigation of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over an area of Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed rebels. A 15-month inquiry into the disintegration of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the skies over eastern Ukraine has concluded that the aircraft was most likely attacked from the ground by a Russian-made […]

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Interfax: Netherlands: Investigators so far don’t confirm finding Buk parts on MH17 crash site in Donbass

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – August 12, 2015) The international group of investigators conducting the criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Malaysian Boeing crash in Donbas does not confirm finding fragments of a surface-to-air missile Buk on the crash site in Donbass, the Dutch National Public Prosecutor’s Office reported. It is now too early to draw conclusions that the found fragments are […]

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Interfax: Pro-Russian rebel official says MH17 “most likely” downed by Ukrainian Buk

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – August 12, 2015) Andriy Purhin (Andrey Purgin), the deputy speaker of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) people’s council, has said that the Malaysian Boeing is likely to have been downed by a Ukrainian Buk air defence system, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax quoted him as saying on 12 August. “Certainly, a Buk [missile] is more likely [to […]

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Half of Russians in favour of MH17 tribunal

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – August 5, 2015) [Charts here bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-half-russians-favour-mh17-tribunal] Nearly half of all Russians would support the creation of a UN international tribunal to investigate who was responsible for last year’s MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, according to a poll by Russia’s Levada Centre. This is in stark contrast to the clear […]

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Idiots ‘Useful’ and Otherwise on the Rise in Russia and the West

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Paul Goble – Staunton, July 31, 2015) Idiotism is on the rise in both Russia and the West, with its spread in Russia having transformed that country from “a land of liars to one of idiots,” according to Vitaly Portnikov, and in the West having become the latest iteration of the “useful idiots” Lenin and the Bolsheviks always viewed as […]

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US expands sanctions day after Russia vetoes MH17 UN tribunal

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 31, 2015) [DJ: US Department of Treasury press release here http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0133.aspx] The US Department of Treasury announced on July 30 it would expand the sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian companies, officials and individuals, which “underscores US commitment to maintain the strength of existing sanctions and the unity of the international […]

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Interfax: Russia will respond to sanctions imposed against it using principle of mutuality, but asymmetrical actions are also possible

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Interfax – July 31, 2015) Russia will proceed from the principles of mutuality regarding the countries imposing sanctions against it, but it does not rule out an asymmetrical response as well, Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov said on July 31. “In general, the principle of mutuality, no doubt, is a basic principle in this sanctions exchange. At the same […]

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RBTH: Flight MH17: Russia blocks UN resolution on international tribunal

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on the establishment of an international criminal tribunal in connection with the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014. While countries in favor of the resolution accuse Russia of insulting the families of the 298 victims of the disaster, Russia says the tribunal would have been premature, and questioned […]

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Unlike Putin, Russian People Think that a Malaysian Plane Tribunal Would Hold Ukraine Responsible, Gudkov Says

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 29, 2015) The Russian government is totally opposed to the creation of an international tribunal to investigate the downing of the Malaysian airliner a year ago and will likely veto a proposal for such a venue at a meeting of the UN Security Council today. But a recent poll shows about […]

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Interfax: Moscow supports bringing closer stances with Kuala-Lumpur on MH17 issue – diplomat

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) – Moscow is ready to start work to bring closer the viewpoints of Malaysia and Russia in regard to the investigation of the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to Malaysia Valery Yermolov said. The text of the ambassador’s speech on the Boeing 777 tragedy and situation concerning the attempts to form an international […]

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The Day Putin Became A Pariah

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – July 16, 2015) It was the day Moscow’s dreams of empire cost European lives. It was the day the Kremlin lost its last vestiges of credibility. It was the day when it became impossible to continue even pretending that Vladimir Putin’s regime was anything close to respectable. It was the day the mask […]

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Moscow Times: MH17 Was Not Shot Down by Russian Missile – Russian Defense Firm

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – June 3, 2015) The Russian maker of an anti-aircraft missile widely thought to be behind the destruction of a civilian airliner over east Ukraine last summer presented evidence Tuesday that suggested that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack. Almaz-Antey, Russia’s largest defense contractor, announced its findings as the basis for a […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Dutch Foreign Minister Reports Progress in Inquiry Into Downing of Malaysian Jetliner

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

NATO officials have said Russian-backed Ukrainian insurgents firing a Russian-made missile were responsible for downing the jetliner on July 17. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces and denied responsibility in the disaster, which caused shock around the world and played a role in the worsening of relations between Russia and the West over the past year. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/world/europe/progress-reported-in-malaysian-plane-shootdown-inquiry.html

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Interfax: Ukraine rebels reject German reports blaming them for downing flight MH17

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – Moscow, October 19, 2014) First deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic Andriy Purhin [Russian: Andrey Purgin] rejects German intelligence allegations of militia members’ involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, suggesting that Ukrainian troops may have shot down the airliner in error, mistaking it for a reconnaissance aircraft. “These allegations against us make no […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Sends List of Unanswered Questions to MH17 Investigators

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said Thursday it had sent a list of questions about the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine to an international panel investigating the disaster. “Oleg Storchevoi, a deputy head of Rosaviatsiya and Russia’s envoy to the investigation into circumstances and causes of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 […]

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Business New Europe: MH17 report – The how, but not the who

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nikolai Holmov, OdessaTalk – September 10, 2014) Today saw the release of the preliminary findings of the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine. To be blunt, these preliminary findings confirming very much what everybody suspected – no crew error, no mechanical failure, no flying in unauthorised airspace etc. “Based on the preliminary […]

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Business New Europe: Last minutes of MH17 flight not recorded by Nato Awacs spy planes

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – September 9, 2014) The last minutes of the MH17 flight downed over East Ukraine July 17 were not recorded by NATO Awacs “eye in the sky” planes, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel. As a result, the German government has no “certain knowledge” that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, the government […]

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Moscow Times: Ukraine Says Rebels Mistook Doomed Flight MH17 for Aeroflot Plane

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – August 8, 2014) Ukraine has claimed that pro-Moscow separatists downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after mistaking it for a Russian Aeroflot plane that they supposedly wanted to shoot down to provide Moscow with a pretext for invading Ukraine. The latest theory in an array of conflicting claims about the possible causes of […]

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Russians’ Regard for the West Has Plummeted, Poll Shows

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Allison Quinn – August 7, 2014) Anti-Western sentiments in Russia have hit a fever pitch amid the ongoing conflict in neighboring Ukraine, a survey conducted by independent pollster the Levada Center revealed Wednesday. A mere 18 percent of respondents harbor favorable attitudes toward the U.S., a significant decrease from January’s 43 percent. The number of […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: The downing of flight MH17: What ordinary Russians think

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alastair Gill, RBTH – July 21, 2014) RBTH asked Russians of various ages and backgrounds, living both in Russia and abroad, for their opinions on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster, including who they thought was responsible for the crash and how the events are being reported in the media. Mikhail, 80 – […]

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RIA Novosti: Flight MH17 is Trump Card in US’ Information War with Russia

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated with Flags Behind

(RIA Novosti – Ekaterina Blinova – July 25, 2014) Praising the ruthless military operation by Kiev against both armed rebels and unarmed civilians, American neocons have also been inciting Washington to launch wide-raging economic warfare against Russia in recent months. Thus, unsurprisingly, when the Ukrainian government released information on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 catastrophe, the US media hastened to […]

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Putin Now Down to One Ally – Moscow Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, July 24, 2014) Tsar Aleksandr III famously said that Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet – but now, according to Rashit Akhmetov, the editor of “Zvezda Povolzhya,” Vladimir Putin is down to only one – Moscow television with its ability to shape and direct Russian opinion. In […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine’s Claim of Russia Downing Attack Aircraft ‘Hogwash’ – Defense Ministry Source

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry has labeled Ukraine’s claim that two Su-25 attack aircraft were shot down in eastern Ukraine from Russia as “hogwash.” On Wednesday, independence forces in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region said they downed two Su-25s. Later in the day, a spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security information center, Andriy Lysenko, said during a […]

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RIA Novosti: Donetsk Commander Denies Telling Media Militia Had Buk Missiles During MH17 Crash

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – A leader of the independence supporters in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, Commander of the Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky, denied having told Reuters that militia forces possessed Buk missiles when the Malaysia airliner crashed in the region, RT television channel reported Thursday. “We were discussing theories but one simple phrase was cutting throughout […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: MH17 disaster leaves Moscow’s international relations on slippery slope

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Starodubtseva, Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 22, 2014) The Boeing 777 tragedy, which claimed the lives of 298 people, has seriously changed the course of the political game surrounding Ukraine. We asked the leading Russian experts to assess how the political situation changed after the events of July 17 and how relations […]

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Interfax: Moscow expects Boeing flight recorders to be given to ICAO experts – Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

MOSCOW. July 22 (Interfax) – Moscow is satisfied with the southeastern Ukraine militia giving flight recorders of the crashed plane to Malaysian representatives and expects they will be transferred in the future to the international expert group under the aegis of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its website. “We express satisfaction […]

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Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in Ukraine in the wake of […]

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United States Assessment of the Downing of Flight MH17 and its Aftermath

File Photo of U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, with U.S. Flag on Pole and U.S. Military

Embassy of the United States, Kyiv Ukraine July 19, 2014 We assess that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. We base this judgment on several factors. Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine. Last […]

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New Post on Russian Guilt; “Here Are The Intercepted Transcripts Indicating Russian Rebels Shot Down Malaysian Flight MH17”

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

[featured image is file photo] Subject: FW: new post on Russian guilt Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: Another version of the same evidence. Best, Anders From: paul roderick gregory [pgregory@stanford.edu] Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2014 3:27 PM To: Anders Aslund; Gregory Paul Subject: new post on Russian guilt http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2014/07/19/what-more-smoking-guns-are-needed-for-mh17-the-worlds-first-sam-terrorism/ Forbes.com July 19, 2014 Here Are […]

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The truth about MH17

File Photo of Buk-1 SAM

[featured image is file photo] Subject: The truth about MH17 Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 From: Anders Aslund <AAslund@PIIE.COM> David: I hope you will lead with this excellent SBU video with English text next time. You can hardly get a better view of the reality of the MH17. http://www.sbu.gov.ua/sbu/control/en/publish/article?art_id=129088&cat_id=35317 Best, Anders [note from JRL web editor: the article linked to […]

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Putin Calls for International Access to Airliner Crash Site

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – July 21, 2014) President Vladimir Putin called for international access to the crash site of a Malaysian airliner in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine, while the leaders of the U.S. and EU nations accused him of failing to back up his words with action and warned of additional sanctions when an EU panel convenes […]

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RIA Novosti: OSCE Monitors Inspect Train with Bodies of MH17 Air Crash Victims

File Photo of OSCE Banners

TOREZ (Ukraine), July 20 (RIA Novosti) – Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have arrived at the railway station near the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines jet to inspect the train that is due to transport the victims’ bodies to Donetsk, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports on the ground. Leonid Baranov, a senior […]

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RIA Novosti: All Passengers’ Belongings Safe in Place of Malaysia Airlines Plane Crash – OSCE

File Photo of OSCE Banners

MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) – The belongings of the passengers killed in a Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 crash in eastern Ukraine have been safely preserved, a representative of the special mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine, Michael Bochurkiv, said Saturday, adding that no distortion by the militia in the region has been noted. […]

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RIA Novosti: US Conclusions on Boeing Crash in Ukraine Resemble Statements on Iraq’s Weapons – Rogozin

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin compared Washington’s hasty conclusions on the cause of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 crash in Ukraine to its statement on Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction made years ago. “The White House has established the guilty even before the investigation of the Boeing accident. Earlier, the White House […]

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