Date
23 August 2017
An anti-Putin demonstration in Sydney on July 19. Russia is suspected to have supplied the missile system that downed MH17 over eastern Ukraine last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, including 28 Australians. Photo: Reuters
An anti-Putin demonstration in Sydney on July 19. Russia is suspected to have supplied the missile system that downed MH17 over eastern Ukraine last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, including 28 Australians. Photo: Reuters

Putin under fire after downing of Malaysian jetliner

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is facing heavy international pressure following claims by the US and Ukraine that Malaysian flight MH17 was downed by a missile system supplied by his nation’s military.

Circumstantial evidence indicates that Russia provided the missile that Ukrainian rebels used to shoot down the aircraft on July 17, killing 298 passengers and crew, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in television interviews, Bloomberg News reported.

“There’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence,” Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program Sunday. “We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Putin in a telephone call Sunday that the attack was “totally unacceptable”.

“Russia risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly,” UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in an interview on Sky News. “We now need to use the sense of outrage that is clear to get a further round of sanctions tightening against Russia.”

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a German newspaper that his armed forces had fired no missiles in the conflict, and that the people who used the system that hit the Malaysian airliner may have “come from Russia”, the report said.

Putin has blamed the Ukrainian government, saying the crash wouldn’t have happened had it not fomented the conflict in the east.

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