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Eight years since the MH17 tragedy. Ukraine vows to bring those responsible for shooting down the Boeing 777 to justice

Eight years since the MH17 tragedy. Who is guilty and when will the verdict in the Hague case be delivered? Photo: official website of the PACE

Eight years since the MH17 tragedy. Who is guilty and when will the verdict in the Hague case be delivered? Photo: official website of the PACE

Ukraine remains steadfast in its commitment to pursue truth, justice, and accountability for shooting down Flight MH17.

This was said in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in connection with the eighth anniversary of the shooting down of the Malaysian plane over Donbas in 2014.

The ministry stressed that the Ukrainian side has full confidence in the independent and impartial criminal proceedings against the alleged perpetrators in the Dutch National Prosecution and the state responsibility proceedings in the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Quote"We urge all states and parties involved to cooperate fully with the proceedings in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2166 (2014). A thorough and exhaustive judicial process must be pursued to hold the perpetrators to account and pursue justice for the victims and next of kin of MH17," the MFA stated.

The EU urged to hold those responsible for the brutal act of terrorism to account and expressed its hope that Russia accepts its responsibility and fully cooperates with efforts to establish accountability.

Quote"The European Union reiterates its full support for all efforts to establish the truth, achieving justice for the 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 and their next of kin and holding those responsible to account, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166," states the declaration published by the external office of the EU.

The High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell called the downing of the plane a brutal act of terrorism. The EU expects Russia to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with efforts to establish accountability.

Quote"Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is a painful reminder of what happened eight years ago to the 298 people on board Flight MH17 and it strengthens the need to establish accountability," said Borrell.

Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 and was shot down over Donbas, according to international investigators, by a Russian surface-to-air missile. Everyone onboard was killed: 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

Moscow denies its involvement in the tragedy.

On June 19, 2019, the investigation team named four suspects thought to have been involved in the transportation and use of the Buk anti-aircraft missile system. These are three Russian citizens, namely the former "defense minister" of the so-called "DPR" Igor Girkin, a colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation; the head of the "Main Intelligence Directorate of the DPR" Sergey Dubinskiy; and lieutenant colonel Oleg Pulatov; and also a Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko who fought for the "DPR".

The District Court of The Hague is expected to deliver a verdict on the case this autumn.

The Joint Investigation Team came to the conclusion that the plane was shot by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system, which belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian army based in Kursk.

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