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Foreign Ministry on 9th anniversary of Russian downing of MH17: Ukraine to help establish justice for victims

by Elsa Court July 17, 2023 5:23 PM 2 min read
Lawyers attend the judges' inspection of the reconstruction of the MH17 wreckage, as part of the murder trial ahead of the beginning of a critical stage in Reijen, Netherlands, on May 26, 2021. (Photo by Piroschka van de Wouw - Pool/Getty Images)
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The downing of the MH17 flight on July 17, 2014, is "one of the most terrible pages of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine," the Foreign Ministry said on the ninth anniversary of the crime.

"Ukraine will continue to make all possible efforts to establish justice for the victims of the tragedy, hold Russia and all guilty accountable and have guarantees of non-repetition of such a tragic incident."

All 298 people on board, including 80 children, were killed when Russian proxies used a BUK missile system to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines flight above Donetsk Oblast. The plane was on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Russia invaded the east of Ukraine, including Donetsk Oblast, following the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In November 2022, the Hague District Court found Russians Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinsky, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, guilty of murder.

The trial started in March 2020, and the suspects were tried in absentia. The three men were sentenced to life imprisonment and to pay a compensation of 16 million euros to the relatives of the victims.

In February, the Joint Investigation Team, established to conduct the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, said in a report that there are "strong indications" that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin supplied the missile that shot down the plane.

In May, a Ukrainian woman was sentenced by a Ukrainian court to 12 years in prison for leaking information on the situation on the front line in Donetsk Oblast to Russia. The woman was a "personal informant" of the Russian military intelligence officer Dubinsky, according to the Security Service of Ukraine.

The national memorial to the victims of the downing of Flight MH17 in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands

Among the victims, 196 people were Dutch nationals.

The acting Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, said that July 17 was a day of remembrance for the victims. "The loss is great and lasting," he wrote on Twitter.

A remembrance service took place at the national memorial near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The Dutch Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra, echoed Ukraine's call for justice for the victims: "The Netherlands remains steadfast in its pursuit for truth, justice and accountability."

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