In the summer of 2014 a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down above eastern Ukraine. The plane was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people aboard. Most of them were Dutch citizens although there were many nationalities aboard the plane.
That July there was a conflict in the eastern Ukraine between pro-Kiev government forces and rebels that were loyal to Russia. The Malaysian airlines plane was in the Ukrainian air space when it came down. All of the people aboard the plane, passengers and crew, died as a result of the crash.
Plane Shot Down by a Russian Missile
An international investigation into the events of July 2014 was just concluded. The results of the investigation say that a Russian-made missile is what hit the plane. Investigators are certain that rebels launched a Buk missile at the plane. The rebels were at the time fighting the forces of the Ukrainian government. They had the village in eastern Ukraine under their control. From that village, the missile was fired, say prosecutors.
Since the incident, Moscow has claimed that the plane was brought down by forces belonging to the Ukrainian military. With new findings of the investigation available, Russia is going to have to respond.
The international prosecutors can’t file any charges. But the relatives of the victims on board flight MH17 want to know what happened. The family and friends of those who died hope that new details might bring a prosecution of the incident.
The plane going down was a tragedy at the time. The incident led to a rise in tensions between the East and the West. With Moscow insisting that Russia did not have anything to do with the plane going down. And with local Ukrainians on the ground not cooperating fully with the investigation.
The Investigation into Flight MH17
The international team of prosecutors has investigators from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine. The team held a press conference in the Dutch city of Nieuwegein. They said that they are certain that a Buk missile system was used to shoot down the plane. Also, the missile was fired from outside the village of Pervomaysk. After that, the missile system returned to Russia.
The investigative team said that they have identified 100 people that were of interest to the investigation. But they did not use the term “suspects”.
The prosecutors said that it still isn’t clear how and why the rebels launched the missile. There is the possibility that they were given an order to fire the missile at the plane. But there is also the possibility that they acted independently.
Last year, a civilian investigation from the Dutch Safety Board reached the same conclusion. The investigation said that a Buk missile hit the plane and that the missile was fired from the eastern part of Ukraine. However, Moscow denied that pro-Russian rebels were at fault for the plane going down.
This Wednesday, a spokesman for the Kremlin repeated the same denials. The statement said that first-hand radar data can act as supporting evidence.
Image source: here.