LONDON — International investigators have concluded that the missile that struck Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.
The Buk missile was fired by the Russian Military’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade based in the Russian city of Kursk, near to where the aircraft went down across Ukrainian airspace.
Investigators knew the missile came from a pro-Russian controlled separatist area in Ukraine. However, it was unclear whether the responsible party behind the attack were fanatics or the actual military.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had claimed during the investigation that it was, in fact, the Russian military that took the jetliner down.
“It wasn’t drunken militants with Ukrainian passports [who shot down the Malaysian plane]. It was done by Russian professionals and coordinated from Russia,” Yatsenyuk said at the time. “The whole world has learned about the Russian lies and Russian propaganda.”
Wilbert Paulissen of the Dutch National Police said, “The probe has concluded that the BUK-TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia. The 53rd Brigade forms part of the Russian armed forces.”
Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, when the missile shot the aircraft down and killed all 298 souls on July 17, 2014.
With the Russians previously denying any involvement in the downing of the jet, the political implications have rapidly gained a different perspective.
The aircraft involved, a Boeing 777-2H6(ER) (9M-MRD • MSN 28411 / LN 84) was 17 years old at the time of the accident. It was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on July 30, 1997.
Out of the 298 people that lost their lives in this brutal disaster, 283 were passengers and 15 members of the flight crew.
193 of the 298 onboard were from the Netherlands, 43 from Malaysia, 27 from Australia, ten from the UK, four from Germany, four from Belgium, three from the Phillippines, one from Canada and one from New Zealand.
So What Now?
It is unclear what will happen next on the political spectrum.
As the Russians continue to claim no responsibility behind the attack, the final investigation puts them in an awkward place.
Whether international involvement is going to follow by other countries is tough to determine.
This is yet another event that involves the Russians over the past few years, especially from the time of the poisoning of ex-KGB spy Skripal.
However, criminal proceedings will be underway to pinpoint those responsible for delivering orders of shooting the missile.
At the time of publication, there has been no international condemnation from those in the political world.
For the families, the element of closure is finally there as they now know the real cause of the accident.
Although the event itself has been traumatic over the past four years, the families can now rest a bit easier knowing that accountability has been set against those responsible.