First anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 on 17 July 2014
Countries around the world, from Netherlands to Australia honor the victims of the crash
The memorial march near the Netherlands Embassy is held today in Kyiv. 20 Ukrainian MPs joined the memorial event. Ukrainian NGOs will gather today for one more memorial action. Verkhovna Rada started its day with a minute of silence to honor the victims of the catastrophe in Donbas.
“The Ukrainian people took this catastrophe as a personal tragedy,” said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in his Address on the anniversary. “Hardly anyone can feel for the families of the victims of MH17 flight more than Ukrainians,” he said.
A public memorial service was held in Australia’s capital Canberra Friday and a permanent memorial plaque was unveiled to commemorate the 38 Australians who died. Prime minister of Australia Tonny Abbott in his Commemorative Address said: “They deserved to be welcomed home not shot out of the sky in a war of aggression by one country against its smaller neighbor”. “We salute the police, soldiers and forensic experts on the ground in Ukraine within range of Russian guns,” stated Abbott.
The U.S. is to cooperate with the Netherlands in the investigation of the Malaysian Airlines MH 17 crash in eastern Ukraine, stated Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State in her yesterdays’ speech in Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Earlier this week, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia, and Ukraine made a joint proposal to UN about an independent tribunal to try those responsible for crimes. Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized this move by saying the Kremlin does not support “the premature and counter-productive initiatives of several countries, including The Netherlands, on the establishment of an international tribunal.”
Western governments believe the militants shot down the plane with a Russian-supplied BUK missile system, a version based on radio intercepts, photographic and video evidence, witness statements and satellite imagery. As expected, Russia denies involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, and believes that it was downed with a missile fired from a Ukrainian jet.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State, expressed his strong considerations that MH17 was shot down by a “surface-to-air missile fired from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. A year later, we strongly reaffirm our commitment to a thorough and independent international investigation to identify the full facts of what happened that day and, most importantly, to see those responsible are held accountable”.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf stated that Russia is immersed in its versions, refutations and complaints, “so now the story’s changing on the Russian side. First they said it wasn’t a Buk missile. Now suddenly they’re saying it is, but it wasn’t them. So I just think the credibility is not 100 percent here on that”. She also added that America remains confident that no Ukrainian air defense systems were within range of the crash, and Ukrainian forces have not fired a single surface-to-air missile during the conflict.
The world community is still awaiting an official solution to the problem of who was responsible.
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