When Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down in 2014, the families of the 298 people who were onboard the plane and perished sought answers. So did the rest of the world and both the Netherlands and Australian governments especially since most of the passengers were from those two countries. A Dutch-led team, therefore, conducted the investigations and recently is when the answers have come to light.
A Missile Did Do The Deed
It was established beyond reasonable doubt that the missile did actually shoot down MH17. However, initially, it wasn't clear from whence it came from. When asked, Russia vehemently denied the allegation despite findings that showed that the missile was fired from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade based in Kursk, a 300mile city south of Moscow.
Holding Russia Accountable
According to Stef Blok, Dutch foreign minister, their government will not be taking the next step of holding Russia accountable. The foreign minister also said that Netherlands and Australia have asked Russia to enter into talks that are aimed at finding a solution that will make up for the suffering and damage caused by the shooting down of Flight MH17.
Despite all that Russia still denies any involvement in that attack and actually claims that on Thursday, the day the missile was launched, none of its missile launchers moved on to the Ukranian soil. Even despite the photo evidence released by the investigators that suggest otherwise, Russia continues to routinely deny.
UK and US Fully Support Move By Investigators
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson said that the UK fully supports the statement by the Dutch and Australian governments that Russia should take state responsibility for the disaster. He further says, “The Kremlin believes it can act with impunity. The Russian government must now answer for its actions in relation to the downing of MH17.”
He further states that the incident is indeed a good example of the Kremlin's disregard for innocent life and that that the UK will continue to offer its unending support in the efforts of the joint investigation team in order to finally deliver accountability for the terrible act and justice all who perished.
The US Department of state through its spokesperson, Heather Nauert has also voiced its strong support on the move by Netherlands and Australia. The US said that the time has come for Russia to finally accept its role in the shooting down of MH-17 and stop the cruel disinformation campaign.
NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltenberg also called on Russia to accept responsibility for the disaster and offer their support for international efforts to establish accountability.
Kremlin Rejects The Conclusions
According to Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, Mutual distrust exists between the investigators and Russia and for that reason they deny the allegations. The Kremlin also claims that despite the investigation being collective, it didn’t include the Russian side and that only Ukraine was allowed to participate. The Kremlin further says that Ukraine should be accountable for the disaster because it made no efforts to close airspace in and around the war zone.
During Thursday’s Joint Investigation team’s press conference, a part of the Buk missile was presented to reporters as more information about the unfolding of events on that unfortunate day was brought to light. The investigators have said that the announcement was only part of the team’s interim findings and that further work is in progress.