The version that was taken down said, Business Insider reported and Izvestiya repeated, that “four years after the destruction of the MH17 the world still is waiting for Russia’s recognition of its role.” Queried about this, the State Department’s press office refused to comment saying only that “the US position on the catastrophe has not changed.”
But words matter. Taking down a post which says as all independent investigators have found that Russia was behind this act of state terrorism represents a serious act of betrayal not only of Ukraine but of the truth. Perhaps even more ominously, it shows just how far down into American officialdom Trump’s deference to what Putin wants has penetrated.
While the Izvestiya report cast itself as straight news, its appearance provides clear evidence that the Kremlin is thrilled by this further piece of evidence of just how far some in Washington are now prepared to go not to offend Putin but rather carry water for him. He will certainly read it as another indication that at least for now, he can continue to push.