It’s time to find the political will to do what is right. If there is no independent investigation into the shooting down of MH17, no pursuit and prosecution of the guilty, we must send the Russian Ambassador to Australia home to Moscow. Our allies must follow suit or face charges of cowardice. If China backs Russia on this outrage, its ambassador should also pack his bags. To hell with the niceties of diplomacy and trade. The remains of victims are being desecrated by their killers.
Vladimir Putin said if there was peace in eastern Ukraine this incident would not have happened. He looked uncomfortable, head down over his papers, his eyes everywhere but on the camera.
Putin has backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, causing the deaths of many civilians. Now his filthy wickedness is stripped bare.
Australia’s understanding of this far-off conflict has been abstract, now after the murder of 36 of our people, it has become real and visceral.
Tony Abbott has been a polarising figure as prime minister but his actions so far on MH17 have been exemplary. He was among the first leaders to call this what it was – a crime. He must keep his nerve and drive international condemnation and justice for the victims. Kicking out the Russian ambassador is merely symbolic, but it’s a statement about important values: fairness, compassion and the faith in international morality.