Najib Razik, the Malaysian prime minister has called for an immediate investigation. And as the passenger manifest is likely to reveal many people from many nations, the pressure for a thorough probe will be irresistible.
Facts have to be established. But already, there has been this:
The statement, from a Colonel Igor Strelkov of the DPR, according to The Interpreter, translates as:
In the area of Torez, we have just shot down an AN-26 airplane, it is scattered about somewhere by the Progress coal mine.It's unclear whether Strelkov was referring to the earlier shooting down of two Ukraine air force combat craft, or the passenger jet. Either way, the statement has since been deleted.
We warned them - don't fly 'in our sky.'
Here is a video confirmation of the latest 'bird drop.'
The bird fell beyond the pit refuse heap, it did not damage the residential sector.
Civilians were not hurt.
There is also information about a second downed airplane, apparently an SU.
It is difficult to shoot down a jet cruising at an altitude of 10,000 metres. Despite the denials, Ukraine has the fighter craft capability of doing so. And Russia are supplying the separatists with military hardware. Neither side benefits from this tragedy, and in all likelihood it was an awful, awful case of mistaken identity.
Yet what is deeply worrying is why passenger jets were still flying over a warzone that had seen action in the air. Incompetence or commercial expediency? The families of the victims need to know not who is responsible for the death of their loved ones, but how and why they were allowed to be put in harm's way.