The Buk-M1 missile launcher has long been standard equipment of the Ukraine’s army and it appears rebels captured a number of them in late June.
On 14 July one downed a Ukrainian Antonov 2 transport aircraft flying at altitude and its launch was detected by US satellites and confirmed by mobile phone intercepts.
Yet neither Washington nor Kiev saw fit to warn airlines daily making 350 flights across the country and three days later the rebels shot down the MH17 airliner.
There followed a rush to pin the blame on Russian president Vladimir Putin. But as lawyers prepare a class action against him, they may wish to consider whether US president Barack Obama was not better placed to prevent the tragedy.
(Dr) John Cameron,
St Andrews, Fife