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Mixed views in Moscow on MH17 crash

Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained that Ukraine is to blame for the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and that the disaster must not be used for political ends. But not all Russians share their government's defiance.

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained that Ukraine is to blame for the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and that the disaster must not be used for political ends. But not all Russians share their government's defiance.

On the streets of the Russian capital Moscow, views are mixed. Some feel Russia is being unfairly accused of involvement into the incident.

Genady said: "We are implicated in all the sins that happen in the whole world, the West, the US blames Russia, it's completely uncalled for. There should be an international association, which will come to objective conclusions."

But there are others who feel remorse, even shame, for their country's alleged role in the incident.

Anna Dadeko said: "People see, people feel, people understand, they get information from sources other than the government media, people feel shame."

Oleg Kozyrev added: "Unfortunately my country is partly guilty for this war and this incident, I am sorry about it."

Putin said that crash investigators must be able to work safely on the ground, but in its statements Moscow has been consistently blaming Ukraine for the disaster and accusing it in obstructing investigation.

Sergey Grinyayev, director general of the Center of Strategic Assessment and Forecast, said: "It's not worth it for us to wait for any objectivity from Kiev. I'm afraid that any investigation of what happened will be dragged out, because the West has already determined who they think is responsible, and don't need anything else."

Russian aviation experts questioned why, days after the incident, an international investigation committee has still not been set up by Ukraine.

It also asked why Ukraine would not disclose records of radio exchange between the Ukrainian air traffic controller and the MH17 cockpit.

Grinyayev added: "Why was MH17's flight path changed, leading it to fly over place of conflict? Finally, what is the current condition of Ukrainian anti-air-force defence? How are these systems accounted for? Are they all still there?”

Russian experts said that given the limited information from inspectors working at the crash site, as well as the absence of publicly available data describing the alleged missile launch, it is premature to draw any conclusions and assign blame. 

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