The international team has suspended the criminal investigation into the crash of Boeing MH17, which was shot down in July 2014 by a Russian missile launched from a Buk SAM from the direction of the settlement of Pervomaisky in the “DNR.” The investigators have failed to identify the crew members who operated the missile system or find any evidence to launch a new case, The Washington Post reports citing the Dutch prosecutors.
Prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer said the investigation had reached its limit, all leads had been exhausted.
According to the prosecutors' report, there is strong evidence that the decision to supply the Buk missile system to Ukrainian “separatists” may have been made personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Buk was subsequently used to shoot down flight MH17. However, even though new extensive evidence has been uncovered, it is not specific enough at this point to launch a new investigation into certain individuals.
In November 2022, the court in The Hague, following a 2.5-year investigation, found that the Russian Federation had been giving orders to “separatists” and controlling the “DNR” territory at the time of the crash of flight MH17. In June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution “Ensuring accountability for the downing of flight MH17”, which also referred to the Russian Buk missile. According to the PACE report, Russian authorities had been spreading misinformation all along, including contradictory versions of events to create confusion.
The Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was shot down in the sky over the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. There were 298 people on board, all of whom were killed. A joint investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider identified key suspects in the case with the call signs “Orion” and “Dolphin”. Colonel General Nikolay Fedorovich Tkachev, Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of Russia, turned out to be “Dolphin”. And “Orion” was GRU General Oleg Ivannikov, aka former Defense Minister of South Ossetia, Andrey Laptev, who commanded Russian troops in Ukraine and, among other things, led the Wagner PMC.
One of the four defendants in the downing case is the former “DPR” defense minister Igor Girkin (Strelkov/Runov). Also on trial are former “DPR” counter-intelligence chief Sergei Dubinsky and his subordinates Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko. In November, the court in the Netherlands found Girkin guilty of the plane downing and put him on the international wanted list. It is known that Girkin had been in contact with former Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. None of the defendants have personally attended the hearings, they are being tried in absentia.