Letter to the Editor - November 26: Plane blame game

PETER Ruff (CCA 15/11) takes issue with me about the tragic downing of MH17.

He claims that I represented Mr Putin as an all-round nice global citizen. I most certainly did not. He's an oppressive ex-KGB boss who oversaw the invasion of Ukraine. But it would be very difficult to prove that Russia destroyed the Malaysian Airways flight MH17.

There's still enough info around to get a fair view of how it happened. So I'd like to present some verifiable points, which I trust that Peter will check against his knowledge of the matter.

MH17 was directed to divert 480km north of its scheduled flight path to a path directly over the Ukraine war zone. Eurocontrol, which approves European flight paths under international rules, maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine. The order to change the flight path did not come from Eurocontrol. MH17 audio records have been confiscated by Ukraine.

A Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles was detected within 5-10 km of MH17, intruding on the air corridor reserved for commercial flights.

A UK aviation expert states that MH17 was downed by bullets, not by a missile.

Australia, the US and Japan in their G20 joint statement condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine - only. There was no mention of the downing of MH17. So much for Abbott's tough shirtfront stance. So prove me wrong, Mr Ruff, or apologise.


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