MH17 anniversary marked in Sydney by ‘quiet’ protest at Russian consulate

MH17 anniversary marked in Sydney by ‘quiet’ protest at Russian consulate

The fifth anniversary of the MH17 tragedy is being marked today by an EU declaration and a quiet protest in Sydney.

On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a Russian surface-to-air missile over Ukraine. All 298 people on board lost their lives, including 38 Australians.

With the investigation into the tragedy still going, the five-year anniversary is being marked by a quiet protest in Sydney outside the Russian consulate in Woollahra, where family members of Australian victims will reportedly gather together.

This follows the revelation that the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – which is composed of police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine – will level charges against those responsible for the downing of MH17.

The European Union (EU) has called on Russia to accept responsibility for the tragedy.

“On this day, when we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which led to the death of 298 innocent people, our hearts are with all those who lost their loved ones and we continue to share their grief,” the Council of the European Union said in a statement.

“The EU calls on Russia to accept its responsibility and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. The EU expresses its full confidence in the independence and professionalism of the legal procedures that lie ahead.”

On 19 June 2019, the JIT announced criminal charges will be brought in the Netherlands against four individuals believed to be responsible for the downing of MH17.

This followed a May 2018 declaration by the JIT that the Buk missile installation that brought down the flight belonged to the Russian army.

In June, five Australian families of MH17 victims that were part of a class action lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines reached a settlement ahead of an eight-day hearing in the Federal Court in Sydney.

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