Washington, DC - We strongly support the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia to call Russia to account for its role in the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Flight #17 (MH-17) over eastern Ukraine and the horrific deaths of 298 civilians. It is time for Russia to acknowledge its role in the shooting down of MH-17 and to cease its callous disinformation campaign.
As the findings of the Joint Investigative Team made clear, the BUK missile launcher used to bring down the passenger aircraft is owned by the Russian Federation and was assigned to the Russian 53rd anti-aircraft brigade near Kursk. It was brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia, was fired from territory controlled by Russia and Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine, and was then returned to Russian territory. We urge Russia to adhere to UNSCR 2166 and respond to Australia’s and the Netherlands’ legitimate requests.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine since 2014 has led to more than 10,300 conflict-related deaths, including those lost in the MH-17 tragedy. It is more than time for Russia to end this violence.