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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: The Day Russia Became a State Sponsor of Terrorism

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Abstract: The downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17th sent shockwaves around the world. The airliner was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over Eastern Ukraine by an surface to air missile, killing all people on board, 283 passengers including 80 children, and 15 crew members. The victims were the nationals of at least 10 different states, with the Netherlands losing 192 of its citizens. This disaster brought the horrors of the Ukrainian war home to us in Western Europe, a hybrid war which started in March 2014 when Putin firstly annexed the Crimea illegally and then set his eyes on Eastern Ukraine (Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Crimea and Ukraine 2014: a brief reflection on Russia s protective interventionism before the backdrop of NATO s new security concept of Hybrid Threats, JURIST -- Forum, May 18, 2014). This short article highlights some possible responses to the crime with a particular focus on a potential terrorism argument.

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