European court case ties Putin to missile that took down MH17 passenger flight over Ukraine in 2014

Wreckage of MH17, the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in 2014. Photo credit: Alexander Chizhenok /

EUROPEAN investigators said there were ‘strong indications’ that the missile which brought down Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH17 in July 2014 was supplied by Russia, saying Vladimir Putin had likely signed off on the sale of the missile.

Prosecutors announced their initial findings on Wednesday, February 8 as the case reached European court after being delayed for several years. Flight MH17 was brought down over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile, killing all 298 passengers and crew, and authorities believe that Putin had personally signed off on the decision to supply the Russian-made missile.

Countries including the Netherlands and Australia accused Russia of sending the missile to separaitsts in the eastern Ukrainian region in 2018 at the conclusion of an independent report by international experts who say that the missile came from a Russian military airbase. A Dutch court has also already handed out life sentences to three men for their roles in the disaster, though they remain free.

Intercepted telephone conversations between Russian officials, in which they discuss the use of heavy anti-aircraft systems are also being used in the case.

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