War, Politics and Tragedy: Malaysian Airlines MH17 Crash

A relative of those on board flight MH17 getting emotional while being interviewed by media. Photo by Hon Keong Soo. Copyright @Demotix (7/18/2014)

A relative of those on board flight MH17 becomes emotional while being interviewed by media. Photo by Hon Keong Soo. Copyright @Demotix (7/18/2014)

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was carrying 298 people en route from Amsterdam to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur when it crashed on July 17 near Torez, an area controlled by pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The passenger jet is believed to have been brought down by a missile, but the Ukrainian government and rebels are trading blame over who is responsible for firing the fatal shot. 

It was the second tragedy to hit Malaysia Airlines in a matter of months. On March 8, flight MH370 carrying 239 people went missing just an hour after it left Kuala Lumpur during its flight to Beijing. The MH370 plane and its passengers have yet to be found.

Read more: Only Months After MH370 Disappears, Plane Crash in Ukraine Sends Malaysians Reeling

Read more: Malaysians on MH17 Crash: “Regardless of Nationality, We Are All United in Grief”

Read more: Malaysia's Government, Opposition and People Unite to Demand Justice For MH17 Crash

The crash also shocked many Chinese families who are still waiting to know what happened to their loved ones on MH370. There were 154 Chinese on board the missing flight.

Read more: Malaysia Airlines Crash in Ukraine Brings on Heart-Wrenching Déjà Vu for Chinese Families Still Waiting on MH370 Answers

The Ukrainian government is blaming separatists armed with Russian surface-to-air missiles. Ukraine's rebels have denied responsibility. With nothing but a few pixelated YouTube videos and a fast-growing mountain of accusations, Russian Twitter users are in the midst of a full-blown hysteria.

Read more: First Russian Reactions to the Downed Plane in Eastern Ukraine

With emotions running high, a handful of particularly calloused statements by figures in Moscow and Donetsk have attracted the Russian Internet's attention. Unsurprisingly, the blame game is now playing out on Wikipedia, where editors are battling to record the polemics that best reflect their side of the story.

Read more: The 5 Most Insensitive Reactions to the MH17 Crash in Ukraine

Read more: Russian State TV Edits Wikipedia to Blame Ukraine for MH17 Crash

Read more: The Death and Gloom of Donetsk and Gaza

Airlines were quick to assure customers that they were rerouting flights to avoid the war-torn eastern region of Ukraine. In Singapore, some thought Singapore Airlines’ message announcing just that was insensitive and the airliner became the target of online criticism.

Read more: Was Singapore Airlines’ Facebook and Twitter Message After the MH17 Crash Insensitive?