Judge rules MH17 plane crash over Ukraine result of deliberate Russian missile

A Dutch court has ruled that the 2014 MH17 plane crash in Ukraine was a result of a Russian-backed missile. The findings conclude that the missile was fired by an armed group under Russian control, ending in the deaths of 298 people.

According to the BBC, the court acknowledged that the missile was meant for a military aircraft but hit the airliner, making it one of the most notorious war crimes in Ukraine at the time. Now, judges at a Dutch court have delivered a verdict on three Russians and one Ukrainian that are accused of mass murder after the crash. They ruled that it was a deliberate action to bring down the plane, despite the missile being meant for a military aircraft.

Ukraine responded to the crash by closing its airspace up to 32,000 feet, but planes were still found crossing the country at the banned altitude. Now, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, critics of how the crash was handled, say it could have diverted the current situation. They say Putin has never been stopped and has still not been stopped. They point to what happened back in 2014, saying many woke up after the crash but the world has still yet to follow suit.

Russia has denied its involvement in the downed airliner, and instead, has given a range of alternative theories. In some cases, Russia even was accused of fabricating evidence to support its alternative theories. Now, those theories were debunked by international investigators, leading to the legal debunking and subsequent rejection of the theories, by the Dutch court.

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The investigation team found that the plane’s disintegration in mid-air was caused by a Russian-made 9N314M-type warhead carried on the 9M38M1 missile that was launched using a Buk missile system in the eastern part of Ukraine. Further findings detail a Russian military brigade as being involved in the aircraft’s demise.

Investigative platform Bellingcat founder, Eliot Higgins, says the team even confirmed the identity and role of brigade members through social media.

“I think at this point, and especially with a guilty verdict, anyone who would claim that Russia wasn’t involved with this shootdown is really a ridiculous person.”

Higgins now believes the bombed airliner is connected to current events.

“People were just turning a blind eye to it, policymakers just weren’t comfortable with calling out Russia in a way they really should have done. And they didn’t react in a way that could have prevented the invasion in 2022. I think there should have been more military support for Ukraine, there should have been more sanctions, and there should have been a stronger response than we saw at the time. There could have been preventative measures that would have saved a lot of lives.”

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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