London - The distraught father of a brilliant maths student killed on Flight MH17 accused Vladimir Putin of his murder.
Simon Mayne’s son Richard, 20, was one of ten Britons on the Malaysia Airlines jet downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.
Fighting back tears, Mr Mayne said he had little doubt the Russian president was responsible for the loss of 298 lives.
“If Putin wanted to speak out he would do so, he would sort them (the rebels) out,” said the 53-year-old teacher and company director.
“Everyone knows that what is going on out there is Russian-sponsored. This is a man who rides bare-chested on a horse because he thinks people will admire him, but he’s murdered my son essentially.”
Describing Mr Putin as aggressive he backed suggestions that the Russian leader’s agents had been arming the Ukrainian separatists: “Everybody knows that you don’t buy these missiles at a corner shop.”
Mr Mayne’s son was studying maths and finance at Leeds University.
As the international crisis intensified, Britain and the United States openly blamed Russia for the atrocity. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, said Moscow’s troops may even have helped rebels fire the BUK SA-11 missile that downed the jet.
And David Cameron said Mr Putin bore responsibility for an ‘absolutely appalling, shocking, horrific incident…that cannot be allowed to stand’.
Barack Obama described Thursday’s attack as “an outrage of unspeakable proportion” and said US intelligence suggested the Boeing 777 had been shot down by the missile fired from an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Moscow fighters.
The Malaysia Airlines jet was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit over territory near Donetsk. The grim roll call of victims became clearer yesterday as rescuers continued the search of the crash site. The wreckage of the plane and bodies of the victims are scattered across fields 30 miles from the Ukrainian border with Russia.
The death toll included 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and ten Britons.
The nationality of three passengers is yet to be established but one is understood to be Irish and another American.
ive more Britons on board the Boeing 777 were named yesterday. They are John Alder, 63, and Liam Sweeney, 28, two Newcastle United fans travelling to watch their team play in a pre-season tour of New Zealand; Glenn Thomas, 49, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation; Loughborough University student Ben Pocock,20; and helicopter rescue pilot Cameron Dalziel.
Mr Dalziel, a 43-year-old father of two, is understood to be South African but travelling on a British passport. - Daily Mail