Monday, August 8, 2022

Eight Years Ago This Week, Russian Forces Shot Down a Malaysian Airlines Plane, Killing 298

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 16 – One of the most horrific aspects of the Putin regime is that it continues to commit so many atrocities that even major ones from the past are overshadowed by later events and begin to be forgotten. Indeed, it sometimes seems that Vladimir Putin commits new crimes precisely so that his earlier ones will be forgotten or at least ignored.

            No legal actions have been taken against Putin’s first crimes as president, the bombing of the Russian apartment buildings by the FSB that he was able to blame on the Chechens; and a verdict in a Dutch court in the case of the shooting down of the Malaysian jetliner eight years ago is expected only later this year.

            And even if that court returns a guilty victory as most observers expect, that will hardly be the end of it. As lawyers involved point out, the court will only be able to impose penalties if Moscow agrees to extradite those found guilty – and that is hardly something the Putin regime is likely to do.

            But both the families and friends of the victims especially of the latter are doing what they can to make sure that the world does not forget what it initially expressed outrage about, the killing of 298 civilians by Russian forces in 2014 (

            Maintaining outrage is hard especially if new outrageous crimes are committed by the same people, but failing to sustain at least some level of anger about what such people have done gives them a victory they do not deserve. On the eighth anniversary of the shootdown of the airliner, the least we can do is to remember the crime, those who committed it, and their victims.

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