15:08 Jul. 17, 2016
US Department of State makes a statement to mark the second anniversary of the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
"Two years ago today, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, taking the lives of 298 innocent people from 11 countries. Our sympathy and thoughts remain with the families and friends of the MH 17 victims", US Department of State reports.
In October 2015, we welcomed the findings of the Dutch Safety Board in its final report on the cause of the MH 17 crash. This report validated that MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Our own assessment has not changed – the missile was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
The United States continues to work with the Joint Investigation Team and law enforcement authorities. We have full confidence that these professionals are conducting an impartial, credible, and comprehensive investigation that will form the basis of an independent prosecution to bring the perpetrators of this tragedy to justice."
Two years ago, July 17, 2014, the Malaysian plane MH17 heading from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur was downed by Russian-backed militant forces near the town of Torez (Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine), killing all 298 people on board. The vast majority of them - 194 passengers - were citizens of the Netherlands, 38 - Australian citizens.
Criminal investigations are still ongoing but the Dutch Safety Board has determined the plane was targeted by a Russian-made warhead launched off a surface-to-air-missile system Buk by pro-Russia separatists in a conflict zone of Ukraine near the Russian border.
The West and Ukraine say Russian-backed rebels were responsible but Russia accuses Ukrainian forces.