Daily Mail — July 26, 2014
Hillary Clinton has said that said Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘bears responsibility’ for the crash of the Malaysian airliner that was shot down last week in eastern Ukraine.
‘I think if there were any doubt it should be gone by now, that Vladimir Putin, certainly indirectly — through his support of the insurgents in eastern Ukraine and the supply of advanced weapons and, frankly, the presence of Russian Special Forces and intelligence agents – bears responsibility for what happened,’ Former Secretary of State Clinton said.
During an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, which will air this Sunday Mrs Clinton also said Europeans ‘need to understand they must stand up to Vladimir Putin.’
Her comments came as the Pentagon warned that Russia is preparing to transfer more powerful weaponry into Ukraine, a move it said could happen at any time.
Putin has argued that Ukraine bears significant responsibility, saying in a statement that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, ‘this tragedy probably could have been avoided.’
Earlier in the week, Mrs Clinton had said that President Putin had ‘gone too far’.
‘From my perspective — and I have the benefit of not being in the government — if there is evidence linking Russia to this, that should inspire the Europeans to do much more,’ she said.
Clinton also shared her thoughts on her interactions with Putin during her stint as Obama’s secretary of state.
‘He’s very tough. He’s a very arrogant person to deal with, which I think is a combination of this vision of Russia and some fundamental insecurity, because when you are dealing with him, he often acts as though he could care less,’ Clinton said.
Russian separatists have been accused of shooting down the passenger plane, which had 298 passengers.
President Barack Obama recently accused the separatists of blocking the investigation at the plane’s crash site.
Crash investigators have made several significant discoveries as the search for bodies from flight MH17 continues in Ukraine.
More wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines plane was found, including a ‘huge piece of fuselage’ in a heavily wooded area near the sprawling crash site in Donetsk Oblast.
The search team has also discovered more bodies, after it emerged that as many as 100 of the flight’s passengers and crew remain unaccounted for.
The discoveries come on the same day that it was announced a five-nation coalition has been formed, tasked with securing the MH17 crash site.
It is thought the countries involved – Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, Germany and Malaysia – will provide forces to take control of the 50-square-kilemetre site.
The new finds have underscored the need for further investigation – even as fighting closes in on the region and farmers desperate to harvest their crops work their fields with heavy machinery.
Newly discovered human remains have been marked with white flags but investigators said they do not have the equipment they need to move them.
Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was quoted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as saying the piece of fuselage ‘appeared out of nowhere’.