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Editorial: Ukraine tragedy fault lies in Russia

The tragedy of the Malaysian Air crash Thursday was likely the result of a surface-to-air missile, fired by pro Russian Ukrainian militants, blowing the jetliner out of the sky.

The deaths of 298 passengers aboard Flight 17 appear to the result of a tragic mistake on the part of those militants. The destruction of the airliner occurred over rebel territory in eastern Ukraine.

News reports from the crash site near Torez in a remote part of Ukraine Friday were not to positive. Investigators and journalists approaching the crash scene faced restricted access. The large crash scene was not properly secured.

Those conditions are not conducive to a proper investigation.

The turmoil and fog of battle have catapulted eastern Ukraine into anarchy. The armed men on and near the crash scene were unidentified and their intent not clear.

The individual primarily responsible for this rebel turmoil in Ukraine is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader has practiced a strategy of disruption through secret rebel invasion, seeking to reunite former U.S.S.R. territories to Mother Russia.

It worked for him in seizing Crimea earlier this year. However, the strategy may have exploded in the skies of eastern Ukraine.

Putin needs to prove his rhetoric by cooperation and securing appropriate access for a credible international investigation. It is time for this Russian bear to restrain his military thugs as well.

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been high for months. The international outrage over this tragedy is justified. However, it is important that the West and the East do not allow this tragedy to evolve into a regional conflict or escalated war.