MH17 Tragedy in Ukraine: Suspects found guilty

Twelve years ago, a passenger plane flight MH17 was brought down in the territorial sky of Ukraine; now, we have reached the verdict.

MH17 crash
Airplane Crash Site © Prospect Magazine

What Happened to MH17

On July 17, 2014,  a Boeing 777 from Malaysia Airlines took off from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Kuala Lumpur. It was 33,000 feet above eastern Ukraine when it lost all contact with air traffic control before getting shot down by a Russian-made missile.

The attack took the lives of 298 innocent passengers and aircrews, 196 of which were of Dutch nationality.

The Verdict

Today, the judges have reached a verdict; three out of four suspects – two Russians and one Ukrainian – are found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life in prison.

Former colonel of the Russian intelligence service FSB Igor Girkin, war veteran Sergei Dubinsky, and Leonid Kharchenko are responsible for shooting down the passenger airplane, which they mistook for a military jet.

The judges acquitted the fourth suspect Oleg Pulatov, for lack of evidence. Putalov was the only one with in-trial legal representation while the other three never showed up in court.

The court also revealed that the weapon was supplied by the Russian anti-air brigade in Kursk and fired from a pro-Russian area, Pervomaiskyi. Evidence that proves the Russian involvement in the crime was published by an independent team of journalists, Bellingcat. Russia never admitted the deed but claimed that the Ukrainian forces were to blame.

This notorious attack was collateral damage from the Russia-Ukraine conflict that initially started in February 2014.

Russian-made Warhead

Russian Missile
Buk Air Defense System © Alpha Coders

The missile was launched from a Buk air defense system. Buk was first developed and used by the Soviet Army in the 1970s. The Buk system deploys radar- or infrared-guided missiles from surface to air and can counter vehicles and cruise missiles. Apart from Russia, other countries, including Georgia, North Korea, and Ukraine, have also introduced Buk to their military service.

Judge Hendrik Steenhuis, who presided over the trial stated:

The court found that only the longest possible prison sentences would fit the gravity of the charges.


Subscribe to our Weekly Digest!

More News

British Airways launch new way to save Avios points on World Duty Free purchases 2023

British Airways has recently released ways for Executive Club...

Beyond 2050: Is Sustainable Air Travel Possible In The Long-Term?

Is sustainable air travel possible in the long-term future?...

Exciting New Integrated Air/Rail Ticket Scheme Announced By United Airlines, Lufthansa Group And Deutsche Bahn

United Airlines, Lufthansa Group and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have announced a new...

United Airlines’ Financial Performance Results In Profit In Third Quarter

United Airlines’ financial performance remains in the profit zone...

Gift Guide For Travel Lovers

With Christmas on the horizon and everyone feeling the...
Panaphorn Khongpasuk
Panaphorn Khongpasuk
Aviation Reporter - A Thai medical graduate of the Poznan University of Medical Science, Panaphorn indulges her creativity through writing and art. She is currently working as a ghostwriter at The Urban Writers (Niches: Health, Medicine, Self-help) and contributes to Travel Radar on the side.


Please enter your comment!