Justice Denied – MH17 Five Years Later
Over the past 5 years, the Russian Federation has harboured the criminals responsible for the killing of 298 innocent civilians on July 17, 2014, when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukrainian territory by a Russian-controlled missile system. Despite persistent efforts by the Kremlin to discredit the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with determining the cause of the disaster, the overwhelming evidence gathered confirms that culpability for this crime lies with the Russian Federation.
“It is appalling that on the fifth anniversary of this criminal act of terrorism against innocent civilians, Russia continues to deny its responsibility for this tragedy. Kremlin spin doctors have maintained a fervent disinformation campaign with the goal of sowing doubt about the validity of the findings while attempting to transfer the blame to Ukraine and its authorities,” stated Ukrainian World Congress President Paul Grod.
The JIT, with representatives from the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Ukraine, and Malaysia, concluded that MH17 was downed as a result of an exploding missile fired from a Russian-controlled BUK missile system positioned in a farm field near the settlement of Pervomaiske on territory under the control of occupying Russian military forces. The JIT also confirmed that the BUK missile system used in the attack was delivered to Ukraine from the Russian Federation and following the crash was returned to Russia, both conclusions being supported by both American and European data, and open source intelligence.
From the very start of the investigation Russia has unashamedly promoted its version of events, including accusations that Ukraine shot down the plane, and discrediting the findings based on Ukraine’s inclusion on the JIT. On July 30, 2015, Russia vetoed a draft resolution of the UN Security Council on the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute the perpetrators of the MH-17 flight catastrophe.
Members of the JIT announced in The Hague on June 19, 2019, that three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian would be charged with murder over the attack on the civilian jet. The trial will take place in The Hague in March 2020.
“We call on the international community to bring the MH17 executioners and their Kremlin masters to justice. The top Russian political and military commanders who gave the order to shoot down M17 must face criminal responsibility and the Russian Federation must be censured,” added Paul Grod. “The Ukrainian World Congress and the global Ukrainian community stand in remembrance and solidarity with the families and friends of the victims of the MH17 disaster on the fifth anniversary of this act of terrorism as the quest for justice continues. May the memory of the victims be eternal and such tragedy never happen again.”
Photo: National Monument for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane crash, Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands