Monday, 21 July 2014

​The downing of Flight MH17: A plea for objectivity

The appalling attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 marks the most serious escalation of violence in the Ukrainian conflict since authorities in Kiev launched a military operation in the country’s eastern regions earlier this year.

It is difficult to fathom how the situation in Ukraine has transformed from protests over corruption and an economic associate agreement into a major international conflict, and has taken hundreds of lives and led to the worst diplomatic crisis between Moscow and Washington in modern times.

The situation in Ukraine has directly touched the lives of victims and their families from various parts of the world, who never could have imagined that a contentious domestic crisis in a country thousands of miles away from their homelands could so profoundly impact them.

The view from Kuala Lumpur is a distressing one, as the nation struggles to cope with the shock and psychological trauma of yet another massive tragedy in the wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s unsolved disappearance just over four months ago.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was personally affected by the disaster, as reports confirmed that his step-grandmother was onboard the ill-fated plane. The overwhelming concern of Malaysians is to secure that the remains of passengers are quickly returned to the country for a proper burial.

As the victims mourn their loved ones, their tragic dilemma has become garishly politicized by sensationalist media coverage and political figures who have leapt to conclusions in the absence of any authoritative evidence, and before any international investigation has been carried out.

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Nile Bowie is a columnist with Russia Today, and a research affiliate with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at