MH17 Victims Memorial Day
Half a decade has now passed since the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine by Russian led militants. All 298 passengers on board the plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, were killed. The Dutch-led joint investigation team, announced last month, the four names of the Russian-backed militants who played a key role in the downing
Five years ago, on July 17, 2014, their plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard it.
Last month, a five-country Joint Investigation Team charged Russians Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinskiy, and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko last month with the shooting. All have links to the Russian military and intelligence services.
“They are proven to be connected to the downing of MH17,” Dutch Ambassador to Ukraine Eduard Hoeks said. “In Dutch law, the maximum sentence is lifelong imprisonment.”
After flight MH17 was shot down, Robert Oehlers personally traveled to Donbas in search of his cousin’s remains. He couldn’t believe that three months after the disaster, her body and that of her boyfriend Bryce’s couldn’t be found.
On the last day of his stay in Ukraine, he learned that small fragments of their bodies were recovered.
“You just felt like the Earth was gone beneath your feet. That life has no meaning,” he said.
The Boeing 777 had been struck from a BUK missile system belonging to the Kursk air defense brigade of the Russian armed forces.
“There has to be some kind of trial because if not we would be a very strange world. Even if you’re you’re the highest president of of the biggest country in the world, if you do something wrong, even you have to step up to the bench of court. Even if you’re not physically there it helps people to realize that there is some kind of justice and that’s it’s forbidden for everybody to take a life. Especially in that way,” Oehlers said.
Moscow continues to refuse cooperation with international investigation groups.