Putin played role in MH17 downing, investigators say

Putin played role in MH17 downing, investigators say

Dhe joint international investigative team into the downing of flight MH 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014 ceased operations on Wednesday. After eight and a half years, there is no longer any room for further meaningful investigations, according to the final report of the body, which, in addition to Ukraine, included the countries from which most of the victims came.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Although there are “strong indications” that the decision to shoot down the plane by separatists from the “Donetsk People’s Republic” was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the evidence was insufficient to prosecute the Russian leadership.

Moreover, Putin himself would be protected from criminal proceedings in a Dutch court by his absolute immunity as head of state. Three separatists were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in The Hague in November.

The decision-maker was in France at the same time

The references to Putin’s role are based on wiretapping logs by the Ukrainian secret service, excerpts of which were published in the 66-page report. According to this, an employee of the self-declared head of government of the annexed Crimean peninsula, Sergei Aksjonov, explained the decision-making processes in Moscow ten days before the shooting down in a telephone call. At the time, the rebels, who had gotten into trouble in occupied Donetsk, were waiting for delivery of an air defense system that they planned to use against Ukrainian military aircraft.

According to the employee, the Russians made it clear to him that this decision was not made by a general or a minister. “Number one is the person who is personally responsible to the people…. He decides.” However, he is currently at a summit in France – meaning the commemoration of D-Day, which Putin attended. However, investigators were unable to find direct evidence that the Russian President ordered the Buk system to be relocated and shot down.

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