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The Contender
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Russia Shouldn't Be Blamed for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 170 times Debate No: 92983
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)




Round 1: Opening Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Finishing Statements

I believe there is not enough evidence to prove that Russia or Russian backed rebels were to blame for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. It would not be wrong to suggest that NATO and the US (Who have a history of doing so) would blame Russia, directly or indirectly, for the downing of the flight in order to gain more support and more criticism on Russia's controversial role in Ukraine. The plane was shot down at the exact border between Ukrainian controlled territory and rebel controlled regions. The weapon used was a BUK missile system which is made and exported by Russia.

What the West decides to overlook is that while the separatist allegedly have this system provided by Russian forces, Ukraine officially has this system previously purchased in past arms deals with Russia. The exact location of the downing of the plane could be from either sides without true proof to have the United States and Western allies prove that the downing was caused by Russian forces participating, or funding rebels in Eastern Ukraine.


A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor." -Anonymous

The truth of the matter is, Russia must be held responsible for their actions of INVOLVEMENT in the Malaysia Flight 17 incident. While there is speculation about Ukraine being ultimately responsible for this heinous crime. According to the latest report, there were 289 people (including crew) on that plane. All of which were innocent and UN-involved with the skirmish they flew over below. But it was the ultimate price they paid for the actions of the countries leading this skirmish. The truth is, the missile fired at the plane from a Russian Buk Launcher from Kursk, Russia. This was discovered in May 2016 by UK journalist site 'Bellingcat'. So, whether my opponent knew he was wrong or he had bad info, there is surely enough info to really put the blame on Russia. I will further explain my side with 3 main points: 1. Russia posted a gloating picture on Facebook moments after the crash. 2. Russia almost immediately shifted the blame to Ukraine by giving the press false info to the press (which is a violation of UN Charter Chapter IX: Article 55). 3. The facts presented in May 2016 is an overwhelming assurance of Russia's involvement and fault for the homicide that was Malaysia Airlines 17.

C #1: Russia posted a gloating picture on Facebook moments after the crash
In the aftermath of the incident, Russian Separatist Colonel Igor Girkin posted a victory post on Facebook claiming that they had shot down a AN-26 near Torez. However, within the hour of posting, it was taken down. So fast that without the Way Back Internet Device, we would have never caught this damning piece of evidence. So yes, Russia was responsible for shooting down Malaysia Flight 17, it just wasn't intentional.

C#2: Russia almost immediately shifted the blame to Ukraine by giving the press false info to the press (which is a violation of UN Charter Chapter IX: Article 55)
One of the biggest indicators of guilt is an immediately shifting the blame to another person. So, this point doesn't require much explaining, but is conclusive in itself. Now onto the point of the violation of the UN charter. While a bold statement, it is true. This is the exact article from and it reads as follows:
Article 55
With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:
a. higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;

b. solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational cooperation; and

c. universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

This is proof that if Russia lied to journalists, it in turn controlled the media in giving a false story and limiting the investigation by public media.

C#3: The facts presented in May 2016 is an overwhelming assurance of Russia's involvement and fault for the homicide that was Malaysia Airlines 17.
This isn't so much a contention as it is a statement. The truth is based on one thing, facts. Not words, not intentions, not the words of a man known to deceive; but cold, hard, unadulterated facts. This is why I stand in firm negation of my opponents case.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting the debate.

There is a serious lack of evidence and sources in your argument. I search up a lot of what you said and most of what you listed as evidence and reasons did not come up online. (By the way, the downing was sad, I'm not arguing that it was justified, no matter who brought it down, I'm arguing it's not appropriate to blame Russia.)

Let me start with Bellingcat. Bellingcat is an independent news/blog 'agency' meaning reliability on their sources isn't established. Independent news agencies are highly biased and usually can't prove their sources because they focus on getting attention and not giving facts. Let me give you an example. They claim the BUK Missile System shot it from Kursk? The BUK Missile system has a circumference range of 30-45 kilometers and altitute of 20 kilometers [1]. Kursk is more than 45 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border, much more 150 kilometers away from the actual location of where the plane was shot down. In case you don't know the geographical proximity of Kursk or where Ukraine and Donetsk is on the map, here it is.

Kursk photo.

The plane was downed closer to Rostov than Kharkiv or Kursk, by the way.

As for your 'FaceBook' post made by that seperatist colenol, two things wrong with that. Firstly, absolutely no site I could find mentioned anything at all similar to the colenol or his posting of the plane being shot down. Secondly, Russians and Ukrainians are primarily and VERY likely to use Vkontakte as their social media brand of choice. I'm guessing you took that colenol posting off another independent news agency which is making me question the reliability fo your sources even more. Otherwise, please link me to your source of that posting or you may find consequences during the voting stage.

Ukraine also immediately shifted the blame to Donetsk seperatists [2] and directly at Russia [3], so that also mean they violated UN articles and are conclusively responsible? Although there is proof Russia is funding these rebels, there isn't proof they are directly sending them missiles and weaponry. Ukraine also failed to prove that the evidence that these rebels had BUK missile systems. One thing Ukraine DID prove is the Ukrainian armed forces do operate AND currently posess BUK Missile systems [4].

Your mentioning of the UN article. You only quoted the article and made the statement that Russia had warped the information of the event and incident. You have not supported the foundation of that statement with any sources nor had I found any website or news agency links that led me to believe Russia partook in twisting the truth. The only conclusive statement from your quotation of the article is that you are making an assumptive and unfounded allegation, just like much of the nations that directly blamed Russia for the incident.

The reports of May 2016 were inconclusive [5] as both Ukraine [6] and rebel forces had denied authorization for United Nations investigators to enter the area for full investigative processing as the area was labeled a 'war-zone' and unsafe for foreign operators. There are no cold hard facts except the sources I have provided against your word which was not backed by the initative I took to search up online.

[1] &
[2] (You have to look for it, it isn't directly stated)



My opponent is right about one thing in his statement, and it is that I did not not site my sources. Therefore, here they are:

For Colonel Igor Strelkov:
For UN Charter:

So, on to rebutting my opponents argument. I will do this by rebutting his argument. His information is flawed and my information presented was misinterpreted by my opponent. Plus there is the fact that the investigation is still going on.

Rebuttal to Opponent
When you look at my opponents source, he tells me that t is impossible to shoot down a passenger aircraft at 30,000 ft. (10 Km) with the Buk missile system when in reality, the Buk missile system has a max altitude of about 3 times that of a passenger aircraft, maxing out at a insane 95,000 ft. (29 km)(According to my opponents source. Other sources say that it is only about 70,000 ft.). So, in reality, my opponent handed me the specs that supported my case. He also gave measurements as to the what is called detection radius (His case of Kursk was too far). He was right, however I had never said that it was fired from Kursk, only deployed from it. My opponent can look at my previous argument and in the first paragraph I said and I quote, "The truth is, the missile fired at the plane from a Russian Buk Launcher FROM Kursk, Russia." I did not have enough information at that time to confirm the true launch site, only that the Launcher had been deployed from there. I apologize to my opponent for not making that clear in my earlier argument. I can now say that based on an eyewitness report, as well as video surveillance, can prove that the missile was in fact fired from the town of Chervonyi Zhovten in Ukraine. Here is the link to the spotting of the launcher that was CONFIRMED to be responsible for the downing of Malaysia Flight 17. Only 30 km within the detection range, well within my opponents specs, the launcher then fired with aim to shoot down an AN-26. The AN-26 in question was supposedly carrying supplies to the Ukrainian front. Which brings up a good question , if Ukraine really was the one who shot the missile, why aim for your own guys? Unless my opponent and I wanted to launch an investigation over a conspiracy of friendly fire to start this whole blame incident, I would say logic rules out the possibility that Ukraine was aiming for their own guys. In recent news, Bellingcat was not the only one to blame the Russians in May of 2016. The Dutch-Australian Task Force assigned to the investigation of the crash called for the UN to have a security meeting due to the fact that there WAS enough data. Russia immediately denied the case being that Russia itself was on the Security Committee. If you had nothing to hide, why not let an investigation take place.

Ukraine Cargo Plane, launch location, and Task Force Investigation:
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for listing sources, it makes it much easier to analyze your argument.

I did not say it was impossible to shoot down a passenger aircraft at 10 km, so please read my argument again. Both sources I listed read from 20-40 kilometers in altitude as there are multiple types of BUK systems.

You also did NOT say 'deployed from Kursk', you said "fired at the plane from a Russian BUK Launcher from Kursk, Russia"
which directly states a BUK missile launcher shot missiles while stationed in the city of Kursk. Your use of the word 'from' implies the BUK missile system was stationed in Kursk at the time of firing.

The reason I imply that Ukraine may be responsible for shooting down the plane is because Ukraine had suspicion that Russia was providing air drops to Ukrainian rebels filled with resources to help in combat, which has not been proven. Regardless, Ukraine believes that Russia is exercising aerial support for Eastern separatists and would shoot down the plane for violating Ukrainian sovereign territory. Not because you think I meant Ukraine would shoot down their own AN-16, it's well implied what I mean when I said Ukraine would shoot down a possible Russian plane.

Your video surveillance shows the explosion of the plane crash, NOT the BUK missile system firing. Ukraine's armed forces was also well within presence of the plane to shoot it down themselves mistaking it for a Russian military transport. As for your source, it does not confirm the evidence that Russian separatists had shot down the plane, it simply describes the situation with constant hints that Russian separatists may have done it.

Russia also DOES have reasoning to why they would deny a case to not continue investigation. The number one nation providing allegations that Russia was responsible for bringing down the plane is the United States. The United States has a history of faking evidence for self interests or bringing down rival reputations for their own cause. An example would be Iraq [1], the United States faked intelligence documents on Iraqi WMD's in order to siphon Iraqi resources under the pretense of national and global security. Another example is when Libya (Before Gaddafi became a sociopath murderer) had one of their national airliners shot down in the Sinai Peninsula over Israeli occupied territories. Israel shot down a civilian airliner, KNOWINGLY, and faced international sanctions [2]. The United States allegedly participated in disturbing the investigation scene and clean-up in order to preserve Israel from sanctions and advance American interests in the Middle East although they still internationally condemned the action, just like Russia condemned Ukraine. Ukraine has also mistakenly shot down airliners before, such as Siberian Airlines Flight 1812 [3] in a completely unexcused incident, in 2001. Ukraine was not in a state of war or threat of peace-time and still shot down a civilian airliner and denied having been responsible for shooting it down. 7 years later, enough evidence was provided to prove it was them.

Furthermore, I know about the UN Article that you have mentioned. You didn't need to post the actual UN website. I asked for evidence of Russia covering up evidence or twisting information which you still did not provide meaning one of your arguments is still unfounded.

Finally, your Igor Post Source. As I mentioned with American history on warping evidence to advance Washington's agenda, John Kerry is not trustworthy. His word cannot and was not backed up. The deeper source links that provided was not a proper foundation to Kerry's argument. One example is the YouTube channel that posted the crash of the airplane. That channel is independent and heavily biased. Just like any independent news channel, their primary objective was to stir bias, not information [4]. Furthermore, the other source links your website source provided only mentioned possibilities, not confirmation as you said, that rebels had shot down the plane. Allegations without evidence is not a confirmation, and only assumptions.

Even in the possibility that the rebels had shot down the plane, it is not Russia to blame. Even if Russia had provided the materials and BUK system that the rebels may have used it would have been rebel mismanagement and not the fault of Russia. For example, the United Kingdom sells bombs to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen. Many civilians are being killed in Yemen yet the United Kingdom isn't under international prosecution. It would apply if Russia is or isn't deploying weaponry to Eastern separatists which Kerry nor your source has proven other than simple allegations.




WeepingBoar35 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by WeepingBoar35 3 months ago
I am so sorry for not posting my argument. It has been a hectic weekend and I've been working a lot. I am sorry for not giving my final statement. But, to sum it up, I truly believe that Russia should be blamed for Malaysia Flight 17 because of the countless deaths that occurred because two countries were at war. So, in conclusion, vote neg, because a world without responsibility for ones actions isn't a functioning one. Thank you and good luck to my opponent!
No votes have been placed for this debate.