Russia rejects any responsibility for bringing down flight MH17. This is evident from documents submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECTHR). Strasbourg is currently underway a procedure of nearly 350 relatives against Russia. These next of kin hold the Russian Federation responsible for the downing of flight MH17.
At the end of last month, Russia submitted a response to the Court in Strasbourg. This short document barely addresses the facts put forward by the next of kin. In seven pages, Russia puts responsibility with Ukraine. That country should have closed the airspace, Russia believes.
According to Russia, Ukraine has increased the route through which civil planes flew across the war zone, but Ukraine did not comply with international guidelines. The distance between civilian and military aircraft should have been much larger, Russia finds.
Ukrainian warplanes in the area would also pose a danger to civil aviation. Some of the next of kin also referred to the role of Ukraine in the MH17 process in recent weeks and questioned why airspace was not closed and why airlines were still flying there.
‘Research is Sham’
Previously, in a ninety-page document, the Russian Federation put the blame aside. According to Russia, the next of kin bases on “false evidence and fraudulent and inadequate investigations”. Russia denies it had effective control over the separatists who fought against the government in Kiev in Ukraine. “Russia has nothing to do with MH17,” the Russian government writes in a document dated 31 December 2019. “The Dutch-led investigation is a sham.”
At present, four men in the Netherlands are being prosecuted for their part in the downing flight MH17. In recent weeks, next of kin has been focusing on Russia. According to these next of kin, Russia has twisted the truth and there is the answer to the many questions they have left.
Next of kin Nick van Vreeswijk and Rianne van den Hende told them how they were suffering from their grief in court:
The lawsuit is broadcast each week via a live stream on the court website. The viewing data shows that most of the people come from the Netherlands. Noteworthy: a fairly large group of people are also watching from Russia. One of those Russian viewers was prime suspect Oleg Poelatov, his lawyer confirms.