Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Washington Post: Criminal and intolerable

The Washington Post

First Published Jul 18 2014 07:20 am • Last Updated Jul 18 2014 05:33 pm

In recent days there has been abundant evidence of Russia stepping up supplies of heavy weapons to rebels in eastern Ukraine, including advanced anti-aircraft systems. The Kiev government reported that two of its military aircraft were shot down in the past week, either by separatists, Russian planes or batteries operating from across the border. On Thursday came a greater tragedy: the destruction of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 298 people aboard. Ukrainian authorities charged that it had been struck by a missile fired by a Russian-made surface-to-air battery supplied to Moscow’s Ukrainian proxies.

If the reports are confirmed, the Ukrainian separatists and their sponsors in Moscow will be responsible for a heinous crime. The United States and its allies must insist that those responsible be held accountable — including those in the Kremlin.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Predictably, the Ukrainian rebels were doing their best Thursday to cover up what occurred. They denied shooting down the plane, though the wreckage landed in territory they control. Their commander, a Russian citizen and former military officer named Igor Strelkov, claimed in a blog post published Thursday to have shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, then removed the message. Russian media joined in the obfuscation, blaming Ukrainian military forces and even suggesting the Malaysian plane was hit by a missile aimed at an aircraft carrying Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The United States and its allies must not allow Russia and its agents to carry out a coverup. Instead they should insist on an international investigation, sponsored by the U.N. Security Council, to determine how the plane was downed and where the weapon used against it originated. The Putin government should be challenged to support such an investigation or be seen by the world to block it.

At the same time, Western governments should stop allowing special interests and their excessive caution to impede robust sanctions against Russia for its behavior in Ukraine. To its credit, the Obama administration announced new sanctions Wednesday afternoon. Targeting two Russian banks, two energy companies and a number of defense firms, they were the strongest yet taken. But the administration acted only after weeks of internal debate and negotiations with European governments that failed to produce comparable European Union action.

The White House continues to avoid measures that could inflict crushing damage on the Russian financial system and force Mr. Putin and the elites around him to choose between aggression in Ukraine and Russia’s economic future. Wednesday’s measures stop two banks from obtaining long-term debt financing in U.S. markets, but the treasury has not excluded those banks from the financial system nor taken measures against the largest banks.

Even before the tragic loss of the Malaysian plane, it ought to have been clear to the West that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine could not be overlooked or wished away. It is both criminal and intolerable and should be treated accordingly.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.