The Perth parents of three children who died when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine have condemned the US president Donald Trump for his refusal to hold the Russian president Vladimir Putin to account over the tragedy.
In a scathing post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Anthony Maslin challenged Trump on the “irrefutable facts” surrounding the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane by a Russian missile in 2014. His partner Rin Norris described both leaders as “bullies”.
Their children Mo, Evie and Otis and Norris’s father died when the plane went down, killing 298 people, including 38 Australians.
“Mr Trump, you invented and speak a lot about ‘fake news’. But let’s try talking about something that’s not fake … let’s call them irrefutable facts,” Maslin said in his post.
“That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact.
“That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact.
“That this killed our 3 beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and many other lives in the process, is an irrefutable fact.
“That the man whose arse you’ve just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact.
“It’s not anger that I feel towards the two of you, its something much, much worse. It’s pity.
“You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is. So you have nothing.”
Norris spoke of “the shattering and wrenching apart” of her life, her family and her soul since the incident.
“As a couple of bullies try to out-bully each other … I write …
“I’ll write of the visible and the invisible – the bruise coloured flower of mother-love – I’ll write of being broken and putting the pieces of myself back together again – and resilience – and strength.”
Norris wrote she is still “rendered immobile by loss and horror” when she remembers experiences from the past and relives the trauma.
“The trauma of a loss so cataclysmic that it singled us out of all Australians, and made us different.”
The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said Australia would continue to seek justice for the MH17 victims.
She plans to raise the issue next week when she meets with the UK’s new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
“Australia values the UK’s strong support, including in the UN security council, in calling on Russia to answer for its actions in relation to the tragedy,” she said this week.
“Holding Russia responsible for its role in the downing of MH17 is vital.”
The flight was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukrainians brought it down near Donetsk on 17 July 2014, using Russian weaponry.