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Leonid Bershidsky

Putin's Evasions on Flight MH-17 Are a Disgrace

The Kremlin may not want to admit guilt over the downed airliner, but it can at least stop dodging responsibility.

An apology would go a long way.

An apology would go a long way.

Photographer: AFP Contributor/AFP

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a peculiar response to Tursday’s announcement by the Dutch-led investigating team that it was a missile owned by the Russian military that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. Putin said he had no idea how that conclusion was reached because Russia isn’t allowed to take part in the investigation.

“The Ukrainian side is working there, though Ukraine broke international rules and didn’t close its airspace over a territory where combat was taking place,” Putin said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron. “And yet it’s working and Russia isn’t. So we don’t know what they’re writing there and what this commission’s writings are based on.”