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Russian UN ambassador queries Ukrainian role in MH17 loss

Russia’s United Nations ambassador has suggested that Ukrainian officials should shoulder part of the responsibility for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Vitaly Churkin told the UN Security Council that there was a need for an open investigation into the loss of the Boeing 777.

But he added that it should also examine the extent to which Ukrainian authorities carried out their obligations to secure the airliner’s safety.

“For any normal person the question would arise: Why did Ukrainian [controllers] send the flight to an area of military clashes?” asked Churkin.

He told the Council that protection of civil aviation was the responsibility of the state, whose authorities must provide necessary information and, if needed, consider a “timely” closure of airspace.

Ukrainian authorities fully closed the airspace over the east of the country following the MH17 crash, Churkin notes: “Why couldn’t this have been done earlier?”

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