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Main War — Zelensky and Rutte in Kharkiv met with Ukrainian investigators, experts involved in investigation into shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

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Zelensky and Rutte in Kharkiv met with Ukrainian investigators, experts involved in investigation into shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

01 Mar, 2024
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Zelensky and Rutte in Kharkiv met with Ukrainian investigators, experts involved in investigation into shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

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In Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with Ukrainian investigators and rescuers who participated in the work of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for the criminal investigation of the crime, as well as those involved in forensics and transportation of the bodies of the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH17.

The aircraft was shot down on July 17, 2014, near Torez in Donetsk region during the Russian armed aggression in eastern Ukraine. The international investigation has come to the conclusion that the aircraft was hit by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile system.

The President of Ukraine reminded that the downing of the MH17 flight by Russian forces killed 298 people, including 193 citizens of the Netherlands.

"These are adults, children – entire families. People from over 10 countries. The youngest victim was one year old, and the oldest – 82 years old. Since then, the whole world has understood what Russian aggression and war really mean. Terrorism knows no boundaries, and any country, any nation can suffer when one person starts a brutal terrorist war," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

 

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It was to Kharkiv in July 2014 that the bodies of the passengers who perished in this plane crash were transported, and from there, their repatriation took place. Experts from the Netherlands set up a laboratory for the examination and investigation of the bodies of the deceased. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was established, which included representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine.

Rescuers and investigators briefed Volodymyr Zelensky and Mark Rutte on the facilitation of the work of international experts in examining and transporting the bodies of the deceased. They said that this work was complicated by the actions of Russia-backed fighters.

The President of Ukraine thanked the rescuers, law enforcement officers, and all those who assisted in this process: "We are very grateful to you for your work, for your great efforts, how you helped our partners and all the families to bring back their loved ones. This is very important."

On his part, Mark Rutte expressed his gratitude to Ukrainian experts for their important work. He emphasized that the investigation of the tragedy and the repatriation of the victims' bodies are of great significance to his country.

 

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On June 19, 2019, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, based on the JIT investigation, brought charges in the case of the MH17 downing in Donbas against four suspects: Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian citizen Leonid Kharchenko.

On November 17, 2022, the District Court of The Hague sentenced Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, and Leonid Kharchenko in absentia to life imprisonment and ordered them to pay compensation to the families of the victims. The court also recognized that Russia controlled illegal armed groups during the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. 

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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