Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sought to shift the blame back to Ukraine (Photo: Remy Steinegger / Flickr)

Suddenly Putin blaming Ukraine for Flight 17 makes a shred of sense

The Russian prime minister may still bear much of the blame, though.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sought to shift the blame back to Ukraine (Photo: Remy Steinegger / Flickr)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sought to shift the blame back to Ukraine (Photo: Remy Steinegger / Flickr)

Russian Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had said about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17:

I want to note that this tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in south-east Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.

Sounded inane at the time, right? But, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Ukraine intelligence officials said they knew three days before the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that rebels in the east of the country possessed sophisticated air-defense systems capable of felling a jetliner at altitudes in excess of where the Boeing 777 was flying.

The disclosure deepens the mystery of why Ukrainian aviation officials failed to entirely close off the airspace in the Donetsk region, where the jet was flying went it was shot down, killing all 298 people on board.

… Ukraine imposed a partial flight ban in the region on flights below 26,000 feet on July 1, and raised the ceiling of the exclusion area to 32,000 feet on July 14. The Malaysia Airlines plane was flying at 33,000 feet.

… “I can’t think of any reason why you would increase a restriction to 32,000 feet when the bad boys have just demonstrated a capability to go all the way,” said a European aviation safety veteran. The airspace should have been closed, he said.

Cui bonoing (from a PBS article) …

…does the Ukrainian government use this as an excuse to wipe out the rest of separatists [?]

Cross-posted from the Foreign Policy in Focus blog Focal Points.

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