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Russia Urged to Accept Responsibility for Downing of Flight MH17

liner crash

The foreign ministers of Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, and the Netherlands made a joint statement on the 7th anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Donbas. The foreign ministers stressed the need to pursue truth, justice, and accountability.

“We acknowledge the cooperation of our respective investigative agencies and reiterate our full support for their efforts to establish the truth of what happened. We also have full confidence in the independent, open, and impartial criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators,” reads the statement.

At the same time, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Ukraine hoped for Russia’s cooperation with investigators in this case to find out the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“The world and Ukraine honours the memory of 298 victims of Flight MH17. Bringing those responsible for the catastrophe to justice is important not only for the relatives of the victims but also for future generations,” Zelensky said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba noted that the crime had been investigated in detail over the years despite Russia’s fake stories and unwillingness to cooperate.

“Now it’s about establishing each perpetrator by name and bringing them to justice. Justice may take time, but it is inevitable,” the diplomat wrote.

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine pointed out Russia’s direct involvement in the downing of the plane.

“Despite Russian propaganda’s attempts to distort reality, Russia’s direct involvement becomes more apparent to the world with each new piece of evidence presented in court. The perpetrators will receive fair punishment for this and thousands of other acts,” reads the statement.

Meanwhile, the United States called on the Russian Federation to accept responsibility for its role in the downing of Flight MH17 and to cooperate fully with the investigation.

The European Union also released the statement supporting the international investigation into the July 2014 downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight over Donbas. The statement emphasises the need to achieve justice for the families of the victims and to hold those responsible to account.

As a reminder, on 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over the territory of the Donetsk region, which was controlled by Russian-backed militants. All 298 people on board died.

Investigators found that the plane had been shot down by a missile from a Buk missile system that belonged to the Russian brigade stationed in Kursk. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has a witness who saw how a missile was launched on a Boeing.

In February 2020, the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service brought charges against four suspects and summoned them for investigation. In early July, the District Court of The Hague suspended hearings in the MH17 trial. The judges plan to resume hearings in early September.

Bohdan Marusyak

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