Dutch and Australian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine pieces of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

USIM provide coverage and analysis of MH17 crash response

Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty are providing comprehensive coverage, including U.S. and international reaction to the July 17 downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine.

VOA’s Ukrainian and Russian services provided live video streaming and text updates of President Obama’s reaction on July 18th, during which he threatened additional sanctions and called on President Putin to compel Russia-backed separatists to stop hampering the international investigation of the crash.

The coverage also included a round-up of interviews Secretary of State Kerry gave in which he called on Russia to stop supporting the separatists.

VOA’s Ukrainian Service detailed the American response, including possible additional U.S. sanctions against Russia, during several live interactives with 1+1 TV, one of Ukraine’s most popular television networks. The service also provided a special report for ICTV about the July 21 UN Security Council meeting at which several countries voiced harsh criticism of Russia for its role in the downing of the airliner.

In a live interview during VOA Russian Service’s interactive program Podelis, the Director of Defense and Intelligence Projects at Harvard’s Belfer Center, Kevin Ryan, said, “This tragedy may lead to further toughening of the sanctions against Russia… probably we will see increased military support from the U.S. to Ukraine.”

RFE/RL’s #UkraineUnspun blog continues to check facts and dispel disinformation disseminated in Russian media. In a recent post, the network cited a British aviation expert and former air crash investigator who described Russian charges that a Ukrainian jet may have shot down the flight as “fairly incredible.” The network also asks the question of whether the MH17 tragedy would qualify as a war crime, and created an infographic detailing recent aircraft incidents in Ukraine.

In addition, RFE/RL interviewed Sara Firth, a London-based correspondent with RT, who resigned in protest over the channel’s coverage of the incident. Firth told RFE/RL’s Golnaz Esfandiari that the Russian state run news channel is all about “pointing fingers” and “deflecting attention from Russia,” instead of accurately reporting the news.