AN investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has found it was a Russian-owned Missile that brought down the passenger plane, killing all 298 people on board.
MH17 was enroute from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down on July 17, 2014.
Everyone onboard, including 38 Australians, were killed.
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An investigation into who is to blame for the fatal crash has been ongoing ever since, however there has never been any closure for the victim’s families – perhaps until now.
In a statement released on Thursday, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said investigators are convinced the plane was brought down by a missile belonging to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade.
“Today the Joint Investigation Team, of which Australia is a member, has released findings that provide further evidence of Russia’s pivotal role in the tragic downing of MH17 on 17 July 2014,” she said.
“The JIT, which also includes member nations – Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine – has concluded that the BUK missile system that was used to down MH17, belonged to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade.
“This follows earlier findings of the JIT that the BUK missile system was taken from Russia to eastern Ukraine and back after the downing, and that the missile launch site was an agricultural field controlled by pro-Russian fighters.”
Minister Bishop said that if true, it should be of “grave international concern”.
“That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian Army was dispatched and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be of grave international concern. We are discussing these findings with our partners and considering our options,” she said.
“Australia and our JIT partners are united in pursuing justice for those who lost their lives, including 38 people who called Australia home, and their loved ones, and to hold to account those responsible for this atrocious act.”