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Remembering the tragedy: 9 years since MH17 was shot down over Ukraine

MH17 wreckage in November 2014. Photo: Flickr/Jeroen Akkermans
Remembering the tragedy: 9 years since MH17 was shot down over Ukraine

On July 17, 9 years ago, a BUK missile system, transported from Russia to a field in Eastern Ukraine, shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Ukrainian Intelligence honors the memory of 298 people from 11 countries killed by Russia.

The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Malaysia when it was hit by a surface-to-air missile over an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

In November 2022, The District Court of The Hague, which is considering the case of the downing of the airliner MH17, found Ihor Girkin, as well as his subordinate fighters Serhii Dubinsky and Leonid Kharchenko, guilty of shooting down the plane but acquitted Oleh Pulatov. The court sentenced Girkin, Dubinsky and Kharchenko to life imprisonment and ordered them to take into custody.

The court, in particular, established that Dubinsky and Kharchenko were functionally involved in the supply from Russia of the Buk air defense system for launching the missile, as well as in its evacuation. Before that, the court confirmed the Ukrainian version of the causes of the MH17 disaster, noting, however, that the main target should have been Ukrainian military aircraft.

On February 2023, The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), working on the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by a missile, convinced evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally signed off on a decision to allow the Russian missile system into Ukraine.

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