The father of three children who perished in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine four years ago has condemned Donald Trump for pandering to Vladimir Putin, accusing both leaders of lacking empathy for their fellow human beings.
MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It crashed on July 17, 2014, after being shot down, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew.
Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris’ lives were torn apart when their children Mo, 12, Evie, 10 and Otis, 8, died in the plane crash.
The children had been flying back home to Perth with their grandfather Nick Norris, while their parents stayed on in Europe to extend their holiday by a few days.
“Mr Trump, you invented and speak a lot about ‘fake news’. But lets try talking about something that is not fake,” Mr Maslin wrote in a Facebook post, “lets call them irrefutable facts.”
Mr Maslin proceeded to list off the facts of the MH17 case: Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile proven to be Russian, killing “our 3 beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and many other lives in the process.”
“That the man whose a*** you’ve just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact,” Mr Maslin wrote. “It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, its something much, much worse. It is pity. You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is.”
“So you have nothing,” he concluded.
The facts listed by Maslin have been a source of deep contention between Russia and the West since the flight was downed over eastern Ukraine.
The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team recently identified the Russian military unit from which the missile launcher allegedly came, deepening the case against Russia.
Moscow vehemently denies any and all involvement, casting blame elsewhere.
It was not the first time that the families of the MH17 victims have made emotional appears to either side of the divide calling attention to what took place on July 17th, 2014.
Just before the World Cup began in Russia last month, a group of Dutch families who lost loved ones wrote an open letter to the Russian people urging them to understand what happened.
The fresh criticism came as Mr Trump, the US president, was last night forced into a remarkable about-turn over his remarks at a press conference with Mr Putin, during which he failed to blame Russia for interfering in the 2016 US election.
At the jovial Helsinki press conference, during which which the Russian president gifted his counterpart a World Cup football, Mr Trump said "I don’t see any reason why it would be" Russia that meddled in the US election.
On Tuesday, Mr Trump made a statement at the White House that he had meant to say the opposite.
"I used the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t’. I think that probably clarifies things pretty much by itself," he said.
The president added that he had "full faith and support" in US intelligence agencies and accepted their conclusion that Russia was to blame.
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