Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Fires in Ukraine Scorch the World

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Fires in Ukraine Scorch the World

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Fires in Ukraine scorch the world

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published July 19:

The moment Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blasted out of the sky above eastern Ukraine on Thursday, an ugly regional conflict escalated into a dangerous global crisis.

A total of 298 passengers from a dozen nations perished in the crash, including Canadian Andrei Anghel, who had graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2012 and was studying to be a doctor. The fighting and dying in Ukraine has gone on for months. Suddenly the violence is striking too close to home -- in homes around the world.

For months, the United States, Canada and the European Union have weakly prodded Russian Premier Vladimir Putin to stop fanning and fuelling the flames that are scorching Ukraine, both by occupying part of that country and by backing the rebels who would tear it apart.

Clearly the international efforts have failed, not just the people of Ukraine who deserved better, but the 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Philippines, as well as the Canadian, New Zealander and citizen of Hong Kong who are numbered in the dead of Flight 17.

These victims were civilians aboard a civilian airplane. They had every right to be where they were -- in an international air corridor -- and not the target of the misguided and murderous operators of a surface-to-air missile. Some passengers were travelling to an international AIDS conference. Canada's Anghel was taking a vacation before resuming his medical studies. Three of the dead were infants. What promise, what hope, what possibilities for good in this world have, through a combination of viciousness, carelessness and wanton stupidity, been squandered?

The international community owes it to these victims to ensure that the guns are stilled in Ukraine, that no more planes explode, that no more innocents die. The person who can do most to make this happen is Putin, but he will not be easily persuaded to act. …

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