Amid the international outrage over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17, it's almost easy to overlook the 298 people killed so ruthlessly.
Their deaths instantly created thousands of grieving families, whose heartache is likely compounded by the mystery of who shot down flight 17 and why. One father isn't staying silent about his grief -- and who he blames.
Hans de Borst's only child, 17-year-old Elsemiek de Borst, was killed on flight 17. In his abject grief, de Borst penned a scathing open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
De Borst writes of his daughter's promise, her plans to go to college, her trip to meet with up with family for a vacation in Malaysia.
"I hope you're proud to have shot her, amongst other, young life and future. And that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning," de Borst rages.
He signs it, heartbreakingly, as "Elsemiek's father Hans de Borst from Monster, The Netherlands, whose life is ruined!!"
Meanwhile, Russians might wander why the world is persecuting them so. Russian media is full of lies and spin about flight 17 getting shot down over Ukraine, an act the international community nearly unanimously agrees Russia played a hand in by supplying the weaponry and technology to separatists in Ukraine.
They range from the utterly unbelievable (flight 17 was filled with corpses already) to the conspiracy theory designed to plant seeds of doubt (the U.S. shot down the plane to provoke a war). Russia government officials have even been caught editing a Wikipedia entry on the crash to blame Ukraine.
Here is de Borst's full letter to Putin, as translated on his Facebook page:
Thank you very much mister Putin, leaders of the separatists or the Ukraine government!
For murdering my loved and only child, Elsemiek de Borst! She was 17 years old, 5th "gymnasium" student at the "Segbroek College" in Den Haag. And she was on her way to her holiday in Maleisië together with her little brother, her mom (my ex-wife) and her stepfather.
Elsemiek would have done her final school exams next year, together with her best friend Julia and Marina, she did so good in school! After that she wanted to go to the "Technical University Delft" to study engineering, she was looking forward to it!
But suddenly she is not here anymore! She has been shot out of the sky, in an unknown country, where there is a war going on!
Aforementioned misters, I hope you're proud to have shot her, amongst other, young life and future. And that you will be able to look at yourself in the mirror tomorrow morning.
I hope you will receive this message, maybe translated in English (what you as a intelligent gentleman could read just fine)
Regards, Elsemieks father Hans de Borst from Monster, The Netherlands, whose life is ruined!!
PS mister Putin, I hope that your intense conversation with our prime-minster Rutte opened your eyes! I know you are impressed by this and I would find it impressive if you took the initiative to guard the crash-sight with the Russian military, so the Dutch investigators can do their job. Thanks in advance.