Putin must allow investigation of airliner shooting

One fact is clear in the crash of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17, shot down over Ukraine on Thursday. Two hundred and ninety eight innocent people lost their lives. There are many important questions that are causing speculation, conjecture and obfuscation – what kind of missle brought the plane down? Who fired the missile that downed the plane? Who ordered the attack on the plane?

The answers to these questions will require an investigation by teams of investigators and experts, who will need access to the crash site and every piece of the downed plane that can be recovered. But Ukrainian rebels who control the area are letting in teams for only the most cursory partial inspections. Meanwhile, reports are popping up that evidence is being removed from the scene and possibly being destroyed.

The U.S. government believes pro-Russian separtist rebels used an SA-11 surface to air missile, and “we cannot rule out technical asssitance from Russian personnel.”

This hideous act of mass murder requires a full-scale international investigation. All who were involved must be brought to justice.

The pressure will fall on Russian President Vladimir Putin. He cannot hide behind the charade that the pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine haven’t been working with his approval and support in the Ukraine. Unless international investigators are given full and free access to the crash site, suspicion will continue to fall on Putin.

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