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Published: Saturday, 7/19/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Kaptur implicates Russia in downing of Malaysia Airlines jet

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) has ancestors who were born in Ukraine. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) has ancestors who were born in Ukraine.
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U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur said she believes Russia, whether directly or indirectly, had a role in the firing of a surface-to-air missile blamed for downing a Malaysia Airlines jet Thursday over eastern Ukraine.

“It is another tragedy in a region that has endured its share of tragedies,” she said. “The destructive role of Russia through this recent period is most disturbing.”

Miss Kaptur (D., Toledo) has close ties to Ukraine, where the Boeing 777’s wreckage scattered over eight square miles of contested ground now controlled by pro-Moscow separatists. Her maternal grandparents were born in the Eastern European country, which gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Also, she co-chairs the Ukraine Congressional Caucus, which helped push through a resolution in support of Ukraine’s reform movement in February, before Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces into Crimea.

Miss Kaptur blames Mr. Putin and the aggressive tactics of Russia and its efforts to aid pro-Russia militia rebels for the deaths of the plane’s 298 passengers and crew.

U.S authorities and aviation experts say Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was likely brought down by a ground-to-air missile, but so far there is no proof of who fired it. Ukraine and the insurgents blame each other.

“This would not have happened if President Putin measured up and tried to negotiate with President Petro Poroshenko to end these unnecessary hostilities,” Miss Kaptur said. “Instead, Russia allowed, encouraged, aided, and abetted the invasion of a sovereign nation.”

Miss Kaptur was part of a U.S. delegation that traveled to Kiev last month to attend President Poroshenko’s inauguration.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Urbana), whose district includes Seneca and Sandusky counties, said: “My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in the crash. I cannot imagine their pain. This senseless act must be fully investigated, and those responsible for the missile that brought down MH17 must be brought to justice.”

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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