It was late afternoon in Kiev on July 17 when I spotted the tweet: a commercial airliner had been downed over eastern Ukraine.

My team, more than 250 civilians from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), had been sent to Ukraine three months before to monitor and report on the security situation in the country and to facilitate dialogue. Now we were involved in something very different.

As the minutes ticked by, we raced to verify claims about the plane. Soon it was confirmed: a Boeing 777 with 298 people aboard it had crashed. [Read more]


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