What Happened to Flight MH17?

The Tragedy of MH17

Razan Breiwish B-Theories

Passengers and crew aboard the Malaysian Air flight MH17 , travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were in for a fatal surprise.  On July 17th 2014, MH17 was shot down en route to its destination, about 50km from the Ukraine-Russia border, killing all 298 people onboard (283 passengers and 15 crew).

Tensions in Ukraine have been rife since February 2014 when the Ukrainian revolution began, which witnessed the ousting of then president Victor Yanukovych and which subsequently brought changes to the sociopolitical system therein. Since then, there have been clashes between warring parties in Ukraine’s eastern region, specifically between separatist pro-Russian rebels, and the Ukrainian government.

Was it the US Intelligence?

These warring parties, up until July 24th, blame each other for the MH17 tragedy. At one point, Russian State Media claimed that US intelligence shot down the plane, and US intelligence claimed that rebels likely shot the plane down by ‘by mistake’. The claims in tabloids went far enough [and bizarre enough] to suggest that the passengers on board were victims of MH370 and was all a conspiracy.


Picture courtesy Getty Images.
Picture courtesy Getty Images.

Was it the pro-Russian rebels?

On July 24th, an unidentified militant belonging to the pro-Russian separatists who are fighting in eastern Ukraine admitted that rebel forces are behind the shot down MH17. The militant claimed that fighters mistook the plane for a Ukrainian government cargo plane. According to the militant, the rebels realized their mistake whence the search of the crash site produced bodies of children, and not of military crew who might have jumped out of the aircraft when it was shot.


The Tragedy of MH17


Recent developments include the UN approving a resolution ensuring access to the crash site in order that they conduct and independent investigation. Meanwhile, US president Barack Obama asserts, “the burden is on Russia” to use its authority to guarantee full access to the crash site.


The Tragedy of MH17


Two Sides with all lives at stake.

Although it is important to come to a conclusion regarding the tragedy and to ‘close the case’, it is  imperative to ensure the affected families are given the utmost care as they trek through this trying time. Warring parties in Ukraine and elsewhere, of course, must come to the realization that ongoing tension and dispute will inevitably harvest such disasters and will inflict insurmountable pain on, not only affected parties, but also [evidently] human beings over the globe. Two hundred and ninety-eight innocent mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, uncles, aunts, grandmas, and grandpas are only a sample of the victims of troublesome tension- which, in this case, is the result of immaterial conflicting political views.