Third anniversary of MH17 tragedy

19:21, 17 July 2017

On Monday, July 17, the world pays tribute to the victims of the MH17 plane crash, which took 298 lives; an anti-aircraft missile downed the civilian plane, killing all aboard. The tragedy took place exactly three years ago in the sky over the occupied part of Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.

Boeing 777 of Malaysian Airlines, flight number MH17 was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at the time the accident occurred. Dutch Investigation Committee found out that the plane was shot down by Buk, Russian-made anti-aircraft missile launcher, which was brought to the occupied area of Ukraine from Russia. Bellingcat experts added that the weapon was operated by Russian regular troops.

On Monday, families of the deceased opened the memorial site near Schiphol airport in Amsterdam; this is where the Boeing took off on that day. The Dutch royal couple joined the ceremony, as people planted 298 trees, symbolizing the number of the victims of the tragedy.

According to Forbes referring to the Dutch Security Board, Russia intentionally closed its airspace on the night of July 17, 2014, before the aircraft was shot down. Back then, the Russian government unprecedentedly shut the skies for any civilian aircraft flying at an altitude below 16 kilometers – which is exactly the effective fire range of Buk missile launcher. At the same time, Ukraine closed its airspace for civilian aircraft flying on the altitude below 10 kilometers. The Dutch experts asked the Russian government for the reason why they closed the airspace, but there has been no reply.