As if the shooting down of a passenger plane carrying 298 people wasn’t monstrous enough, the bodies of those who fell from the sky with Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were left lying in the heat for days as Ukrainian rebels engaged in what can only be assumed to be a cover-up of their blunder. Back in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the man at the root of all this misery, was busy pointing fingers and tinkering with U.N. resolutions, the banality of evil personified.

Monday, a refrigerated train carrying the victims’ bodies finally pulled out of Hrabove in a section of Ukraine largely held by Russian-backed armed separatists. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cites "a buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence" that the rebels brought down the plane, probably in the hugely mistaken belief that a passenger plane was actually a Ukrainian military aircraft. The rebels apparently fear the discovery of more evidence as observers report that unauthorized personnel went through the wreckage while bodies lay strewn about. A Dutch team of forensic specialists was finally given access to the site Monday and reported clear evidence of tampering.

Also Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding international access to the site brought by Australia, which lost 37 residents in the crash (Netherlands lost 193).


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Adoption was delayed to produce wording that would not summon a veto from Russia, a council member. Russia picked this fight with Ukraine and is responsible for the actions of its proxies. "Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists," declared Mr. Kerry. Yet Mr. Putin has blamed the Ukrainian government for creating the situation that led to the downing of the plane and has stalled the investigation.

Right-wing armchair warriors have a soft spot for the swaggering Russian leader, among them former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who compared him favorably to President Obama on Fox News last March when war began in Ukraine. "He [Putin] makes a decision and he executes it, quickly," said the starry-eyed Mr. Giuliani. "And then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader.’’ Evidence suggests that what you call Mr. Putin is a cowardly bureaucrat with considerable innocent blood on his hands.

~ The Berkshire Eagle