Skip to main content
  • Share to or

‘The Russian government has done its best to hide the truth’: MH17 victims' relatives speak out five years later

Novaya Gazeta has published a public letter written by the family members of those killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down near Donetsk in 2014. The letter called on the Russian government to “take [its] share of responsibility” for the disaster and to stop its “disingenuous denials … lies and deceit.”

“Five years ago, our family members got on a plane in Amsterdam to make their way home. Not far into the journey, their plane was shot out of the sky by a missile from the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade of the Russian army. Our beloved family members were all murdered in a brutal and senseless act,” the victims’ relatives wrote.

They added that, in their view, “Russia has spread multiple, bogus and contradictory explanations about what happened.” Arguing that it took time for them to realize where the source of that campaign was located, the letter’s signatories concluded, “The Russian government has done its best to hide the truth, or worse, convey the idea that there is no reliable truth to be found. We the families of MH17 have found this disturbing and deeply offensive.”

While the signatories wrote that no trial could reduce their grief, they demanded one nonetheless, writing, “We want those directly responsible for committing this crime, along with the chain of command above them, to be named and for history to know who they are and what they have done. We want them to be held to account. We will continue to call for this until it happens. We can do no less.”

Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry released its own statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the MH17 crash. It asserted that “the Russian side, in accordance with the resolution issued by the UN Security Council, has always and will always cooperate in the effort to establish the truth and hold the real culprits, not those designated in advance, to account.”

  • Share to or