U.S. Officials: Russia ‘Created the Conditions’ for Malaysia Airlines Crash

New intelligence finds no direct link between the air disaster and the Russian government, but it likely won’t quell concerns about some association.

A pro-Russia rebel looks at wreckage from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 lying in a field on July 22, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
July 22, 2014, 1:25 p.m.

On Monday, Pres­id­ent Obama wondered aloud what pro-Rus­si­an sep­ar­at­ists were “try­ing to hide” fol­low­ing the down­ing of a ci­vil­ian jet­liner in east­ern Ukraine. On Tues­day, U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials said it was their re­spons­ib­il­ity for the crash, which killed all 298 people on board.

The new in­tel con­cluded that sep­ar­at­ists likely struck the plane down mis­take. U.S. of­fi­cials said they found no evid­ence of dir­ect Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment in­volve­ment in the shoot­ing down of Malay­sia Air­lines Flight 17.

The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports:

They say the pas­sen­ger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 sur­face-to-air mis­sile fired by Rus­si­an-backed sep­ar­at­ists in east­ern Ukraine and that Rus­sia “cre­ated the con­di­tions” for the down­ing by arm­ing the sep­ar­at­ists.

The of­fi­cials likely mean that Rus­sia “cre­ated the con­di­tions” pre­ced­ing the plane crash by fo­ment­ing civil un­rest in east­ern Ukraine, a re­gion that has been locked in tur­moil since Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin an­nexed the Crimean pen­in­sula in March. But a primary part of Rus­sia’s sup­port in the in­sur­rec­tion has come in the form of heavy-duty weapons, which could have in­cluded mis­siles such as the one that shot down MH17.

U.S. of­fi­cials told the AP on Tues­day that they don’t know wheth­er any Rus­si­ans were present at the mis­sile launch. They also would not say wheth­er the sep­ar­at­ists who pulled the trig­ger were trained in Rus­sia.

One U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial told The Wall Street Journ­al on Tues­day that Rus­sia has con­tin­ued to sup­ply sep­ar­at­ists in east­ern Ukraine with tanks and rock­et launch­ers after last week’s crash. “We don’t think they have stopped,” the of­fi­cial said. “We think they con­tin­ue to do it.”

At least for now, these Rus­si­an-gen­er­ated “con­di­tions” aren’t go­ing away.

What We're Following See More »
CITES CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Lieberman Withdraws from Consideration for FBI Job
4 days ago
THE LATEST
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
4 days ago
BREAKING
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
4 days ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
BUT WHITE HOUSE MAY USE AGAINST HIM ANYWAY
Ethics Cops Clear Mueller to Work on Trump Case
6 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."

Source:
BUSINESSES CAN’T PLEAD FIFTH
Senate Intel to Subpoena Two of Flynn’s Businesses
6 days ago
THE LATEST

Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login