"Forgive us, Netherlands" - Russian paper
A Russian paper is seemingly standing apart from the local media in their firm stance behind President Putin by offering The Netherlands a direct apology for the MH17 plane crash disaster. As a striking symbol of their disapproval of the recent political rhetoric tied to the tragic downing of flight MH17, in which 194 Dutch citizens were killed, the Novaya Gazeta fills their front page today with the words: "Forgive us, Netherlands", in Dutch. This direct message to The Netherlands comes from one of the last independent newspapers in Russia. A mouthpiece for the opposition, which staunch anti-Putin human rights activist and journalist Anna Politkovskaya wrote for until she was murdered in 2006. Novaya Gazeta is asking, seemingly on behalf of the entire Russian population, for forgiveness for the part that Russia played in the downing of the plane. It is also taking a significant stance against Putin's rhetoric and propaganda. The Russian President is being reprimanded for his support of the rebels who are being blamed for shooting down the plane, and fueling the destabilization of the rebel-held areas in the country. The United States has led the efforts to reprimand Russia by imposing sanctions on individuals and companies, a move that Rutte strongly agrees with.