Today is the day the court will rule about four MH17 suspects

Update: One suspect has been acquitted. The three remaining suspects each have received a life sentence (life in prison). The 2-hour court hearing could be watched live online, but it was all in Dutch.

In English: (Is “firing a missile” or “shooting down” the same as “bombing”? That’s the writer in me asking that.)

UK foreign secretary statement:

Although Canada had one victim on board too, a 24-year-old medical student called Andrei Anghel (pictured in the second video below), CBC (still) has nothing on its front page either, btw, but if you search on MH17, you will find this Reuters item:

Eight years ago, a Russian Buk missile system was smuggled from Russia into Ukraine and shot down flight MH17, which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Then it was smuggled out of Ukraine again. According to the prosecutors, the launcher belonged to Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade.

A large number of Dutch people (196) lost their lives but people in 16 other countries lost loved ones too. In total, 298 people were killed.

The Dutch responded with great dignity to the tragedy, honoring the dead with very impressive sober and respectful ceremonies upon the arrival of the bodies in their home country.

Today, it is a court in the Netherlands that will have its say about Igor Girkin (aliases Strelkov and Pervi), Sergej Doebinski, Oleg Poelatov and Leonid Chartsjenko, three Russians and one Ukrainian (Dutch spelling of names).

The prosecution has asked for four life sentences.

More cases may follow against others who were involved in this tragedy.

The current war in Ukraine is directly related to what happened to MH17. It’s an escalation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

A large group of Australians arrived yesterday, to be present during the sentencing. The suspects aren’t there. Yes, it’s a trial in absentia, but you cannot just give in, sigh and say “oh well”.*

The CNN website lists the news about the pending verdict on its front page. The sites of the BBC and the Guardian don’t seem to mention it at all. The Guardian has written about it extensively in the past: The BBC does have an item about the pending verdict on its site but you have to search on “MH17” to find it:

*I find myself wondering once again whether many English people understand the Dutch drive for justice for the sake of justice. There was no oil or gas to be gained from this trial, and not even any wheat. As some people that the BBC spoke with have said, if the response back then – 8 years ago – had been stronger, we might not have the war in Ukraine now. Atrocities often happen because it is too convenient for people to look the other way and do little or nothing.

Yes, I was highly moved by the way the Dutch honored the victims at the time; I watched some of it live, online. I didn’t know any of them as far as I know but the Dutch response was in such stark contrast to that of the British (who lost 10 people on board that plane). It made me really proud of my home country back then and I know that nothing in Britain England will ever come close to the sentiment those Dutch ceremonies radiated.

They contained a lot of silence.

The hearses were also greeted by the Dutch along the roads when the bodies were driven from Eindhoven to Hilversum.

This first video below is LOUD (but you’ll get the idea of what I mean, if you pay attention) and this was only the first ceremony, concerning the first 40 bodies (of any nationality, I should add).

Dignity for the dead is not something the English do well.

(Neither is sophistication, I should add. Nor hospitality.)

At the same time, they have continued to look down their ridiculous neo-colonial noses at all those “savages” that live beyond Dover and sometimes even dare dirty the English soil and air. Isn’t it weird and so desperately sad that the war in Ukraine served to help get the English to abandon at least some of that barbaric insular nonsense?

No, not literally all of the English did that (look down their noses and so on). I know that. I am not a proverbial savage, am not blind. My country has many faults and it has made many mistakes. I am not necessarily fond of it but unlike England, it has a spine when it counts and it seems to know a lot better what really matters in life when it comes to the crunch. And it has guts. Violence does not equate to having guts.

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