Accusations Fly Over Ukraine Plane Crash, But Evidence Is Sketchy

Officials Eager to Parlay Incident to Diplomatic Advantage

The publicly offered evidence against everyone in the Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash remains as it was yesterday, sparse and of dubious trustworthiness. The rhetoric continues to pick up steam, however, with assorted Western officials continuing to pronounce absolute certainty as to the official truth, whatever it happens to be at any given time.

Broadly, it centers on proclamations of the Ukrainian rebels’ guilt, and Russian culpability, though the narrative tends to be flexible, and yesterday’s insistence of the rebels using a 9k37 Buk vehicle seized from Ukraine’s military has, without explanation, transitioned into the vehicles being provided by Russia, of which Ukraine insists incontrovertible, though totally secret, proof.

The Obama Administration is similarly claiming evidence of rebel guilt, though their evidence too is being withheld, likely in anticipation of further changes to the official story.

As the accusations fly fast and freely, another new question has emerged. If, as Ukraine claims, it had so much proof of the rebels having such advanced anti-aircraft missiles, then why was the claim never made publicly until nearly a day after the crash. Likewise, Ukraine’s claims of rebel shoot-downs of military aircraft in the leadup to the MH17 incident seem to be morphing, as it was only hours before that incident that Ukraine was insisting Russia’s Air Force was directly behind the downing of their Su-25 warplanes.

The wreckage is still barely inspected, and Ukraine is throwing around claims of a cover-up, perhaps anticipating that their allegations will not be upheld when the evidence is examined.

But for most nations, particularly the US and other Western nations, the fallout of the incident is something to be shopped around for diplomatic advantage, with officials pushing Russia to forcibly end the east Ukrainian rebellion as some sort of payment for ending the hysterical anti-Russia rhetoric surrounding the entire incident. Russia so far seems content to hold out for actual evidence, but Western officials appear to believe it is a buyer’s market, and that the perception of guilt is the real problem for Russia, not whether it is upheld by weeks of investigation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of