Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all of the 298 passengers and crew on board. The plane, which was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was carrying primarily Dutch citizens, as well those from nine other countries.
While it was originally reported that 23 Americans were on board, that number now appears to be untrue.
Here are the nationalities that Malaysia Airlines has confirmed:
Malaysia: 44 (including 15 crew and two infants)
Indonesia: 12 (including one infant)
United Kingdom: 9
New Zealand: 1
United States: 1
Unconfirmed nationalities: 3
Barack Obama has seized on the shooting down of the Malaysian passenger jet to redouble international pressure on Russia over its support for Ukrainian separatists, calling it a “wake-up call” for Europe.
The US president claimed the incident – coming less than 24 hours after the US announced a third wave of economic sanctions against Russia – demonstrated the risks of supplying heavy weapons and support to the rebels and how the impact was “not going to be localised”.
While the Pentagon said new military assistance to Ukraine would soon arrive, it continued to stop short of providing weaponry.
The US and its European allies have presented a united front against Russian aggression in recent months, but there have been significant divisions behind the scenes over the types of sanctions that should be levelled against Moscow.
“In just one country alone – our great allies the Dutch – more than 150 of their citizens have been killed and that sadly brings home the degree to which the stakes are high for Europe, not simply the Ukrainian people,” said Obama. “We have to be firm in our resolve in making sure that we are supporting Ukraine's efforts to bring about a just ceasefire.”
Although stressing further investigation was necessary to identify individuals involved, the president said it was a “sombre and appropriate time for us all to step back and take a look at what has happened” and dismissed Russian efforts to blame the Ukrainian government.
Source: National Insider/The Guardian