The story of how and why Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine

By Marcus Bensman, David Crawford, CORRECT!V

Mediapart publishes here an in-depth investigation by its German partner site CORRECT!V  which details why the shooting down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th 2014 of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 people onboard, is a war crime in which the Russian army is, at the very least, implicated. The BUK M1 surface-to-air missile responsible for the destruction of the plane was brought into position by members of the 53rd Russian air defence brigade from Kursk which, in an operation to protect Russian tank units, was operating in disguise on Ukrainian territory. "There is hardly any doubt: a Russian officer gave the command to shoot down MH17," concludes the investigation. But this report also underlines that some of the responsibility for the tragedy is shared by several other parties, notably the Ukrainian government which used civilian flights as human shields for its air attacks on Russian positions.

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It’s one of the greatest war crimes of modern times – and the truth still hasn’t been revealed. On July 17th 2014 at 16:15 local time, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers died, including 80 children. Who fired the deadly missile? Over several months, Berlin-based investigative newsroom CORRECT!V has gathered together the facts, investigated in both eastern Ukraine and Russia, and has found witnesses to the missile launch.