Vladimir Putin is said to hold a great deal of influence over pro-Russian rebels who now control large parts of eastern Ukraine. Where the Malaysian Airlines flight to Australia (which had just left Schipol Airport, in the Netherlands), was strongly suspected of being shot down by a surface to air missile fired by the same pro-Russian rebels. With the ongoing conflict between forces loyal to the Ukrainian government in the west and pro-Russian rebels in the east, the issue has been catapulted to the top of the international agenda with nationals lost from many countries of the world. The Russian President has been accused of not allowing access of international inspectors to the crash site and the rebels have been photographed destroying evidence and removing the aircrafts black box. The bodies of 196 of the victims were removed by train and taken away to one of the nearby towns. Pressure on the President from the the international community, to allow access to inspectors, is growing and many EU member states threatened further sanctions if he did not comply. While in Moscow, the media makes the alternative argument that is was Ukrainian forces that downed the flight killing everyone on board.
The Ukrainian Government in Kiev has invited the Dutch to take charge of the investigation, not only due to the fact the flight left Schipol, but also that most victims were in fact Dutch.
With both sides seemingly adamant of the others guilt and all the barriers put up to the site inspection, on top of the tampering and destruction of evidence it could take a long time for the truth to emerge. With the rhetoirc being ramped up the situation remains volatile, with both sides blaming the other and the international community demanding answers.