Russia has vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for the establishment of a tribunal to prosecute individuals allegedly responsible for shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 as it passed over Ukraine last year. The veto was expected: The perpetrators are widely believed to be Russian-backed rebels fighting the Ukrainian government. This move does not end efforts to find justice for the victims of that attack. Moscow's resistance is unlikely to diminish, however, and any eventual tribunal will be forced to operate without Russia's assistance.

MH17 was shot down just over a year ago, on July 17, 2014, as it traveled from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 283 passengers and the 15 crew members on board. The plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Russia, in territory held by Russian-backed separatist rebels. The tragedy occurred during an upsurge in fighting between rebels and Ukrainian government forces that were trying to cut the separatists' supply lines.

The rebels were blamed for several reasons. First, immediately after the crash, a leader of the rebel forces claimed on social media to have shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane. When it became clear that the target was in fact a civilian airliner, the post disappeared and the rebels disavowed any involvement in the incident.