Monday, July 21, 2014

West Raises Pressure on Russia in Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

U.S. Charges Moscow With Supplying Rocket, Hiding Evidence

By Jay Solomon in Washington and Anton Troianovski in MoscowWSJ
Updated July 21, 2014 12:33 a.m. ET

The U.S. leveled its most-explicit allegations yet of Russia's involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and subsequent efforts to conceal evidence, and European leaders threatened broad new sanctions against Moscow, marking a turning point in the standoff between the West and the Kremlin.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday warned Russian President Vladimir Putin "for the last time" to accede to Western demands to disarm pro-Russian separatists and stabilize Ukraine. (Follow the latest updates on the Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine.)

Officials in Europe, meanwhile, departed from their initially muted reaction as anger grew across the continent over the attack that left 298 people dead and the chaos at the crash area in eastern Ukraine. Reports that bodies were being handled haphazardly and that separatist guards on the scene were drunk have caused fury in European countries where victims came from, including the Netherlands.

Mr. Putin, in a Kremlin-website posting overnight, called for an international investigation of the crash site and said that "Russia will do everything possible to shift the current conflict in the east of Ukraine from today's current military stage to the state of discussion at the negotiation table."

(More here.)

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