Jul 17, 2019: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down five years ago
UKRAINE - On Jul 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was downed by a Buk missile that was fired from eastern Ukraine, the second loss of a Malaysia Airlines flight in the same year. The Dutch-led joint investigation team announced on Jun 19 that three Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged with bringing a missile into the area in eastern Ukraine and with murdering 298 passengers and crew.
The team named the men as Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov from Russia, as well as Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.
A remembrance ceremony can be expected at the memorial built after the tragedy at a park near Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The Huffington Post reports that the site includes a monument with the names of victims, as well as a living memorial in the shape of a ribbon that features one tree planted for each person that died.
The authorities know what happened to MH17 – en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur it was hit by a Buk missile near the Russian border in eastern Ukraine, where conflict raged. Most of the passengers were Dutch, and included some of world’s top HIV researchers who were on their way to a conference in Australia.
The Netherlands and Australia announced in May 2018 that they believe the Buk was transported to Ukraine from a military unit in the Russian city of Kursk. Russia has vehemently denied involvement and has over the years come up with various theories as to the cause of the crash, laying the blame on the Ukrainian side. Ukraine has also denied involvement.
Apart from the carrier, there are no apparent similarities between the two airline tragedies, and the first, the disappearance of MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, has been described as one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time. The 495-page report from the government gave no definitive answers as to the fate of the airliner. No significant pieces of the wreckage of the jetliner, a Boeing 777, have ever been found, and the search has been called off. Nor have any remains of the 239 people on board been found.