Jul 21 2014

The Political Impact of the Downed Plane: Malaysia Airlines, the West, Ukraine, and Russia

Two hundred and forty seven bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 which was shot down over Eastern Ukraine late last week. The remains are stuck in legal limbo awaiting a flight out of the area and there are unsubstantiated rumors that Russian backed rebels are looting the bodies and their belongings and may even have the flight’s black box. While loved ones of those who died are mourning their loss, a political tussle is threatening to boil over.

The West, including Europe, led by the US, has squarely blamed Russia and militants in Ukraine allied with Russia for downing the plane. Very early on, US officials confidently asserted that Russian made surface-to-air missiles were found to be responsible. The action could reignite a tense stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Australia, which lost dozens of citizens and residents on the plane, currently has a seat on the UN Security Council and is seriously considering introducing a ban on Russian president Vladimir Putin at the G8 and G20 meetings.

GUEST: Katrina Vanden Huevel, editor and publisher of The Nation, a long time expert on US-Russia relations

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