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 »
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
New Hampshire Called for Hillary Clinton
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
“CHAIR WITH ONLY ONE FULL TIME COMMITMENT”
Rep. Ellison Confirms He Will Quit Congress If Elected DNC Chair
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison is currently the favorite to become the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and he has confirmed that if he is elected come February, he will resign his seat in Congress. In a statement from Ellison this morning, he says that the Democratic Party needs "a chair with only one full time commitment."

TO BE ANNOUNCED IN COMING DAYS
Trump To Nominate Gen. John Kelly For Homeland Security
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump has chosen Gen. James Kelly to be his secretary of homeland security, making Kelly the third general tapped by Trump to serve in his administration. The official announcement is likely to come in the next couple of days. Kelly, who did not endorse Trump during the campaign, "was the commander of U.S. Southern Command until earlier this year."

Source:
2018 WATCH
Iowa Gov. Branstad Nominated For Ambassador To China
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Iowa Republican Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in American history, has accepted President-elect Donald Trump's offer to serve as ambassador to China, Bloomberg reported late Tuesday. Branstad has a longstanding relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and backed Trump during the election. If he's confirmed, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds would become the Hawkeye State's first female governor and could run for a full term in 2018. Iowa does not place term limits on its governors.

NO SURPRISE HERE
Trump Is TIME’s Person of the Year
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

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