The employment of a Russian rocket in Ukraine downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over the eastern region of the country in 2014. This was claimed to have received the approval of Vladimir Putin, according to foreign investigators.
Nevertheless, they claimed the proof of Putin, as well as other Russian leaders’ involvement, was insufficient to support a felony record, putting an end to their investigation for the time being.
On July 17, 2014, MH17 was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine while en route to Kuala Lumpur by a BUK missile defence system, thus murdering all 298 aboard, comprising 196 Dutch nationals.
The prosecution stated in a comment made on Wednesday, “there really are substantial indicators that the Russian president agreed on delivering the BUK.” At a press interview in The Hague, attorney Digna van Boetzelaer stated the probe “hit its end.”
She declared the evidence was insufficient to prosecute any additional individuals. A request for clarification was not immediately answered by Moscow, which previously and categorically rejected any participation on the part of the Russian government.
A Dutch court found several former Russian intel agencies and the commander of a Ukrainian separatist group guilty of murder in November. This was for their roles in organizing the missile defence system that brought the jet down.
They were convicted in absentia and the men are still free.
Holland, Ukraine, and Malaysia formed a joint investigative team after the jet was destroyed to determine who was at fault and gather evidence to support criminal charges.
Piet Ploeg, whose brother was killed in the crash and is the executive director of a foundation that advocates for MH17 victims, expressed disappointment that the probe halted.
Ploeg expressed relief that prosecutors presented their case for Putin’s participation.
No Prison for Putin
“Putin cannot be prosecuted; therefore, there isn’t much we can do about it,” he remarked. “We were interested in learning who was ultimately accountable and that is obvious.”
Ukrainian troops were engaged in combat with separatists supported by Russia when the plane was shot down, leaving its debris and passengers’ remains strewn across maize and sunflower farms.
While it attacked eastern Ukraine in February 2022 and claimed to have seized Donetsk a year later, Russia denied having troops in the country in 2014.
On Wednesday, investigators claimed they were unable to pinpoint the precise soldiers who were in charge of controlling the missile defence system, which originated from Russia’s 53rd division in Kursk.
However, they used two phones intercepted communications as proof. The first involved a 2014 discussion among Russian officials during which one said in order to grant the rebels’ request for weapons, Putin’s consent was required.
The second contact occurred with Putin and the leading pro-Russian official in the separatist region of Luhansk, Ukraine, in 2017. During this chat, they talked about the war context and a prisoner swap.