President Obama spoke to the press about the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine. Kiev released intercepted calls and evidence that proves the pro-Russian forces are responsible for the deaths of almost 300 people.
“Yesterday, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border,” said Obama. “Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken: men, women, children, infants, who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine. Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions.”
“We know at least one American citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss.”
Three of the passengers had an “I” next to their names, which means they were infants. Schansman was a dual Dutch/American citizen. Dual citizenships account for why it is taking the U.S. so long to identify Americans on the flight.
Obama said he spoke with the leaders of Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Netherlands. The Dutch lost over 100 citizens on the flight. Later Friday, Obama will talk with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott since the country also lost numerous citizens. He also laid out exactly what Americans know as of now.
“Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine,” he said. “We also know that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks, Russian-backed separatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet.”
“Moreover, we know that these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia,” he continued. “This includes arms and training. It includes heavy weapons. And it includes anti-aircraft weapons.”
Breitbart News has been on top of Ukraine since November and documented proof Russia is involved in east Ukraine. On May 25, the day of Ukraine’s presidential elections, Chechens from Russia appeared in Donetsk and admitted they were sent from Russia to help the separatists. The Donetsk People’s Republic’s self-proclaimed Prime Minister Alexander Borodai is a Russian citizen from Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov admitted Moscow provides the rebels with “humanitarian aid,” and one militia leader said the aid includes military equipment. In June, Kiev said three Russian tanks crossed the border, and NATO released satellite images that confirmed the suspicions. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko provided evidence to NATO that Russian soldiers and officers were with the pro-Russian forces.
Russia has promised numerous times to help rein in the rebels, but Obama said Moscow has not done anything to help the West with Ukraine.
“Moreover, time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to deescalate the situation,” he said, adding:
I spoke to President Putin yesterday in the wake of additional sanctions that we had imposed. He said he wasn’t happy with them, and I told him that we have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far, at least, Russia has failed to take that path.
“Instead, it has continued to violate Ukrainian sovereignty and to support violent separatists,” he asserted. “It has also failed to use its influence to press the separatists to abide by a cease-fire. That’s why, together with our allies, we’ve imposed growing costs on Russia.”
Obama assured the countries involved that America will help.
“Now, the United States stands ready to provide any assistance that is necessary,” he said. The President elaborated:
“We’ve already offered the support of the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board, which has experience in working with international partners on these types of investigations. They are on their way–personnel from the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board. In the coming hours and days, I’ll continue to be in close contact with leaders from around the world as we respond to this catastrophe.”