ABC just reported that the Russian rebels in Ukraine have basically kidnapped, for lack of a better word, the bodies of 200 of the Malaysia Airlines passengers who were shot out of the sky by Russian surrogates a few days ago.
Ukrainian rescue workers had managed to collect around 200 of the 298 bodies when Russian rebel forces turned their guns on the rescuers and literally stole the bodies.
The Russian surrogates are now stacking the bodies of the passengers and crew, including 80 children, in train boxcars. The NYT has a photo — for me, it immediately evoked the Holocaust.
As I wrote before, the Russians have basically armed rednecks with rocket launchers. And they know it. And as Brian Ross just said on ABC, say what you will about how this was an “accident,” but these are people (the Russian rebels) who “do” want to shoot down civilian airliners, who “do” see a benefit in doing just that.
And as for the Russians, as I noted before, how exactly was this an “accident” any more than intentionally handing a 5-year-old child a loaded gun, and then the child shoots someone, is “an accident”?
What did the Russians think their surrogates in Ukraine were going to be doing with missile systems built for shooting down airplanes (the weapons fly at 3 times the speed of sound, and can shoot down a plane as high as 70,000)?
The Russians knew that their rebels were incapable of operating such complicated equipment, and that there was thus a really good chance that they’d shoot down one of the 300 to 400 civilian airliners that was crossing over eastern Ukraine every day. Yes, 3oo to 400 (from the NYT):
[A]irspace restrictions had been introduced by Ukraine on July 1, initially restricting flights below 26,000 feet, and had not had much effect on the volume of air traffic over the area, indicating that many carriers considered the route safe. Before June 30, around 400 daily flights passed through the area at all altitudes, he said. After the first set of restrictions, traffic dropped by a few dozen flights per day. When the restriction was extended to 32,000 feet on July 14, the daily traffic decreased only by about 50 flights from a month earlier, a reduction of around 12 percent.
A majority of air traffic crossing the area where Flight 17 was struck consists of international overflights that are already at cruising altitude and would not be required to adjust their normal routes to accommodate the new restrictions.