Vladimir V. Putin seemed to also try a unique combination of conciliation and bravado when he searched for a way of compromise while not actually agreeing with the West.
His gesture of offering comforting words via video statement could be doubly interpreted as it was released during the night, precisely when pro-Russian separatists started releasing the bodies of the Malaysian Aircraft and returned the flight recorders they declared they had to Malaysian officials.
At the same time, senior military officials also demanded that proof be publicly presented that the missile that took down the Malaysian Aircraft was actually fired by the Ukrainian pro-Russian rebels. Moreover, they claimed that Ukrainian military was responsible for the downing of MH17 in spite of the fact that Ukraine has never used antiaircraft weapons alongside its eastern border.
After several international demands concerning Vladimir V. Putin’s lack of response in the matter of the MH17 downing, he intervened personally particularly to help put an end to the degrading chaos that was surrounding the way remains of victims are being handled. Moscow did, however, not concede and continues to claim that it has no fault in the matter.
In light of the whole situation, Russia faces a great threat of serious sanctions coming from its Western European trading partners. Gleb O. Pavlovsky, political consultant at the Kremlin argued that the situation is difficult as it does in fact touch Putin too, but that while wanting to get out, he doesn’t want to lose. Barack Obama, American President, urged Russian President to distance himself from the rebels and directly linked him to the abuse the rebels have been showing at the crash site.
During his remarks, Obama declared that President Putin has the responsibility of compelling separatists to collaborate with officials investigating the crash. Moreover, he added that while Putin declared that he fully supports the complete and objective investigation, such declarations should also be supported by actions and that it seems Putin’s actions are nowhere to be seen.
But today did bring small diplomatic victories as the Malaysian government had the possibility of discussing the issue of releasing the bodies and flight recorders directly with the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. While the negotiations were taking place, Ukrainian government attacked rebel positions in Donetsk and killed at least three civilians in so doing. While Ukrainian officials denied having hit civilian areas, the heavy damage that Donetsk has taken is proof enough that their assertion is doubtful.