A commercial airliner, Malaysia Airlines 17, was shot down over Ukraine on July 17th killing all 298 souls, 193 of whom were Dutch. This is another mark in Russia and President Putin’s new agenda to retake lost land over the years. While the facts are still being brought together it does appear that it was the pro-Russian forces that used an anti-air missile battery to shoot down MH17. Immediately the crash site was disturbed and bodies and pieces of the aircraft moved by the pro-Russians.
With a strong back, both leaders from Malaysia and the Netherlands demanded to have access to the site for their teams to find the truth along with recovering the lost souls. The blackbox and data recorders are now being analyzed but with so much debris moved from it’s original landing site it maybe difficult to find the proof nessaesry. Even if there is proof, with Russia supporting these troops it will be nearly impossible to convict and try those responsible.
Yesterday I watched coverage from CNN as 40 of the victims arrived in Netherlands and were transported by hearse. The entire highway was shut down and tens of thousands lined the route, some crying, others silent and red-eyed. As I was watching a commentator said that this is impressive and that it is rare to see a country stop and mourn in such a way. With traffic stopped and air travel haunted for a while this was a massive country wide moment of silence and remembrance. I shook my head at this comment because it is typical for American’s to see USA as one of a few civilized countries. Most of Europe is very civilized and takes such tragedies seriously. There have already been strong warnings to Russia about interfering in anyway with the investigation. National pride within EU countries is very strong and most of Europe is coming together. I am not surprised by the response of citizens in Netherlands but I am glad it is happening in such a way that the country has come together to support each other.
This makes many people wonder if Russia allowed this to happen and the operators to act in such a manner then what is next? Will Russia stop it’s advancements? Most likely not, many Russian citizens are backing President Putin and the re-assimilation of lost land. This makes me wonder who is next? Baltics? Poland? Finland? It is hard to say but as a Finn I will say it will be a big mistake if Russia even tries to invade Finland. Finland has very strong national pride and with a strong, non-corrupt government that works well there will be strong and fierce resistance. Any attempts would also mean the EU would have to protect one of its members and go to war. For now economic stress and finding new sources of gas would help Europe control Russia for now.
I hope that behind this tragedy comes a strong fist led by the Netherlands and backed by the EU and Britian. My prayers are with all of those lost and I have read many of the stories of people on board; children, dogs, doctors heading to an AIDs conference, and many more. Overall this just should not have happened to people traveling and with no involvement in the Ukrainian / Russian land dispute.