Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott has sensationally blamed Russia for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane which was hit by a missile over Ukraine, killing all 295 people on board.

In a tweet posted shortly after news broke of the airliner’s demise, Talbott alleged that, “Donetsk separatist boss Strelkov, Kremlin’s proxy in war, says he ordered shootdown thinking plane was Ukrainian.”

Talbott subsequently deleted his original tweet, which had over a thousand retweets, and replaced it with the watered down version below.

Talbott links to a screenshot which he alleges is a Facebook post made by Strelkov in which he admits responsibility for shooting down the airliner. The veracity of the post has not been confirmed.

The Malaysian Airlines flight (MH17) was cruising at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was shot down and was disappeared from radar 300km (186 miles) from the Russian border.

Ukraine’s security council quickly blamed Moscow, saying the missile was fired from a Russian plane.

Aviation expert Major Charles Hayman told Sky News that it is likely the Ukrainians were responsible for the incident.

“It’s possible the Ukrainians flapped a bit, thought it was hostile and shot it down. Perhaps it was confusion at the Ukrainian air defence centre,” said Hayman.

The Brookings Institution is widely acknowledged as the most influential think tank in the United States and a key player in amplifying the Washington consensus. The organization previously pushed for the U.S. to lead a “humanitarian” military intervention in Syria.

In a previous tweet, Talbott remarked that if Russia were to blame for the tragedy, it would evoke a similar response to the 1983 shoot down of Korean Air Lines Flight 007, which represented one of the tensest moments of the cold war and caused a huge escalation in U.S.-Soviet hostility.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of and Prison

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