Sixth anniversary of MH17 tragedy: Netherlands commemorates victims

Sixth anniversary of MH17 tragedy: Netherlands commemorates victims

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Today marks the anniversary of the MH17 tragedy. Six years ago, a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane performing flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by Russia-backed forces in the occupied Donbas.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent, a flower-laying ceremony, a minute of silence and the reading of the names of MH17 victims will be broadcast live on the Dutch TV channel NOS at 14:00 local time. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to make an address.

The commemoration will take place near the memorial complex for the victims of the tragedy, near Schiphol Airport, from where flight MH17 took off on July 17, 2014.

A total of 298 trees symbolizing the victims on board the plane were planted on the territory of the memorial complex.

The Embassy of Ukraine in the Netherlands extended its condolences to the families of the victims. Flowers were laid at the national memorial complex in memory of the victims of the disaster.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the memory of those killed in the disaster will not be honored in the same way it was in previous years. Mass events have been canceled. So there will be a small-scale ceremony. Several relatives will read the names of all the victims.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over conflict-hit Donbas in July 2014. There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board. All of them died.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) concluded that the plane had been shot down from a Buk missile system that belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On June 19, 2019, the JIT named four suspects believed to be involved in the transportation and combat use of the Buk missile system, from which MH17 flight had been downed. Three of them are Russians: Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former colonel in Russia's FSB intelligence service and former so-called defense minister of the so-called "Donetsk People’s Republic"; Sergey Dubinskiy, general (at the time of downing – colonel) of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces and head of the so-called "Main Intelligence Directorate of the Donetsk People's Republic," and Oleg Pulatov, lieutenant colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. The fourth suspect is Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian civilian, who fought on the side of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic."

In March this year, the District Court of The Hague began its consideration of the case of the downing of flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas.

On July 10, 2020, the Netherlands filed a lawsuit against Russia with the European Court of Human Rights.


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