On MH17 Anniversary, Ukraine Blasts Russia

  • The ministry stressed that Ukraine is determined to continue close cooperation with the Netherlands, and other partners in the JIT.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated on Facebook that "justice must prevail."
  • MH17 was shot down six years ago Friday, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Russian-controlled Ukraine.

On the sixth anniversary of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in the skies over Donbass, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared that it will do everything possible to establish justice in the plane crash, and calls on Russia to recognize its responsibility for the crime.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014 while flying over eastern Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the occasion of July 17:

“On this day, when we commemorate the sixth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and the death of 298 people of 17 nationalities, our thoughts and condolences are with all those who lost their loved ones. Ukraine remains fully committed to joint efforts with the JIT partners to bring to justice those responsible for the MH17 downing.”

The ministry stressed that Ukraine is determined to continue close cooperation with the Netherlands, and other partners in the Joint Investigation Team, in order to bring the perpetrators to justice in the criminal process. Ukraine also welcomes the start of the trial.

“We are moreover taking steps within the proceedings in the ICJ to hold Russia accountable for the breach of its obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, which led to the downing of MH17,” the statement added. They concluded:

“Another important step is the decision of the Netherlands to bring the case against Russia in the ECHR in order to hold Russia liable in view of its role in the downing of MH17. Ukraine calls on Russia to accept its responsibility and adhere to its international obligations, namely under the UN SC Resolution 2166, to cooperate with the ongoing investigation and criminal proceedings.”

Zelensky: Justice Must Prevail

In turn, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, stated on his Facebook page that during the investigation of this tragedy, Ukraine “has shown itself to be a reliable international partner interested in the truth.”

“Nothing will bring back lost lives and quell the grief of relatives and friends whose parents, children and friends died in the catastrophe. But justice must prevail. In the name of peace and memory of all those killed,” Zelensky added.

Earlier, the EU Council’s website published a statement by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressing hope that Russia would acknowledge its responsibility for the plane crash, and cooperate fully in its efforts to bring those responsible to justice.

The War in Donbass is an armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine. In the aftermath of the Euromaidan movement and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, protests against the newly formed government took place in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, an area commonly collectively called the “Donbass.”

Crash of Flight MH17

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was shot down in the skies over the Donbass region, part of Ukraine’s uncontrolled territory. All 298 people on board were killed.

The causes of the crash are being investigated by an international Joint Investigation Team, which includes law enforcement officials from Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Malaysia.

In September 2016, the group published a report that the airliner was shot down by a missile launch. A year ago, the JIT announced that a Buk missile belonged to the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade stationed in Kursk.

Charges were brought against four people. Three of them are Igor Girkin, who at the time was the “Minister of Defense” of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” Sergei Dubinsky, nicknamed “Gloomy,” and Oleg Pulatov.

All three are linked to Russian special services. The fourth accused was a citizen of Ukraine, Leonid Kharchenko, who fought on the side of the separatists. The Dutch prosecutor’s office believes that they all played a key role in the delivery and use of Buk missile.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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