Dutch Judge Delivers MH17 Airline Verdict

Image copyright: Washington Post

The Facts

  • On Thursday, a Dutch court convicted two Russians and a Ukrainian national of murder in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 — the incident killed all 298 passengers and crew. All three men commanded pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbas region.

  • The presiding Judge said the prosecutors had presented clear evidence that the Boeing 777, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down by a Russian-made missile fired by pro-Kremlin Ukrainian fighters on July 17, 2014. The three men were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment; a fourth man was acquitted because of a lack of evidence.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Family and friends of the victims have felt devastating pain for more than eight years, and now justice has finally been served. The Dutch court ruled on the state responsibility of the Kremlin for this tragedy. The verdict clearly shows that the international community will not accept impunity — those responsible for this heinous crime must be held to account.

Establishment-critical narrative

This is a politicized ruling and has no merit. The prosecutors failed to present any hard evidence. The court's double standards and one-sided approach are especially evident in light of the recent incident involving Ukrainian missiles striking the territory of Poland — once again, Russia was scapegoated.

Establishment split



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