news from Ukraine: Ukraine remembers MH17 victims on second anniversary of tragedy

11:06 Jul. 17, 2016

Ukraine remembers MH17 victims on second anniversary of tragedy

A woman places flowers in commemoration of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane accident in eastern Ukraine, in front of the Dutch embassy in Kyiv (Getty Images)

Malaysian plane was downed over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board

On July 17, Ukraine marks two years since the passenger jet - Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 - was shot down over militant-held eastern Ukraine.

President Petro Poroshenko wrote on Twitter: "Ukraine remembers each victim of the MH17 tragedy. Terrorism is unacceptable in any form and the perpetrators of this crime must be punished". 

Watch also Poroshenko vows justice for those responsible for downing MH17 one year ago

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 aircraft was reportedly shot down by anti-aircraft missile system Buk. All 298 people, including 80 children, who were on board, were killed. The vast majority of them - 194 passengers - were citizens of the Netherlands, 38 - Australian citizens.

Read also New footage shows BUK which may have downed MH17

The plane crashed over an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, during some of the worst fighting between government forces and militants. The victims' bodies were moved to the Netherlands for identification and examination. 


The fuselage of the downed plane (UNIAN Photo)

On July 24, Ukraine delegated the investigation of the aircraft crash to the Netherlands. Malaysia submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to establish an international tribunal to investigate the downing of the MH17 flight.

In order to investigate the tragedy, the international investigation team was formed on August 7, 2014, which included prosecutors and other law enforcement bodies of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Malaysia, as well as representatives of Eurojust.

On July 29,  Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for downing passenger airliner MH17.

Read also Dutch furious as Russia blocks MH17 investigation

On October 13, 2015 the Dutch Safety Board today released its final report into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight. Brought down by a Russian-made BUK missile - that was the result of a Dutch-led inquiry into the disaster over eastern Ukraine. 


Later, an independent group Bellingcat which investigates military cases through open sources, compiled a list of those involved in the downing of the flight MH17. The list includes 20 Russian military.

Read also Bellingcat publishes new photos of Russian Buk on day of MH17 downing

According to Bellingcat, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was blown out of the sky by a Buk anti-air system that belonged to the 53rd division of the Russian armed forces, located in the city of Kursk. Experts managed to establish the number of the vehicle which confirmed its origin.

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 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.


Cockpit of the downed aircraft (UNIAN Photo) 




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