Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 was shot down over Donbas on July 17, 2014 / REUTERS

Ukraine was not aware that civil aviation was in danger when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 MH17 was shot down over Donbas in July 2014.

There is therefore insufficient evidence to hold Ukraine legally responsible for not completely closing the airspace, according to an independent investigation conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation, NU.nl wrote.

Read alsoReuters: MH17 judges reject request to investigate alternative crash scenariosDutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the Flight Safety Foundation report states that "insufficient facts have been established to indicate that the Ukrainian authorities at the time responsible for civil aviation safety over eastern Ukraine were aware of a threat to civil aviation above Ukraine, except that part of the airspace that was already closed."

Background

  • Malaysia Airlines' MH17 Boeing 777 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over Russia-occupied territory in Donetsk region. All 298 people on board who were citizens of 10 countries were killed in the crash. The majority of the victims, 196, were citizens of the Netherlands. The Dutch Safety Board October 13, 2015, issued a report on the causes of the accident. It was revealed that the plane had been shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.
  • The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in its report published on September 28, 2016, confirmed that the plane had been downed by a Russian-made Buk brought to Ukraine from Russia.
  • On June 19, 2019, JIT investigators accused four Russia-controlled military intelligence officers of involvement in a missile attack that shot down MH17. The first four suspects in the MH17 case are Russian terrorist Igor Girkin (AKA "Strelkov"), who in the summer of 2014 was the so-called "Minister of Defense of the Donetsk People's Republic" ("DPR"); Russian General Sergei Dubinsky (nom de guerre "Khmuryi"), who led the "DPR intelligence;" Oleg Pulatov (nom de guerre "Gyurza"), who in 2014 headed of "the 2nd division of the GRU of the DPR;" as well as Leonid Kharchenko (nom de guerre "Krot"), who was a leader of the "reconnaissance battalion" of Russia-led forces.
  • The MH17 trial process began on March 9, 2020.