MH17 report finally answers who shot the plane down

It’s been more than two years since 298 people were killed when MH17 was shot down in Ukraine.

Now a report into the crash as finally pointed at a firm finger at the culprits, and it was as you expected – Russian forces.

International prosecutors have concluded from thorough investigations that the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a Russian-made missile from a Russian-rebel held village in Ukraine.

You might be wondering how they finally found that out?

Well, for the past two years a team of as many as 200 investigators has been hard at work.

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They’ve studied 200 witness statements, 150,000 tapped telephone conversations and half a million photos and videos.

Plus, they also had the painstaking task of looking at five billion internet pages to retrace the route taken by the rebels who carried the missile system into Ukraine.

If that’s not enough evidence, they also wiretapped a phone conversation in which a suspected Russian-speaking military commander asked another if he can “receive a BUK (missile) in the morning”.

He also said his forces were under pressure from air strikes.

Prosecutors are unsure whether the fighters were ordered to shoot the plane down or did it independently.

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What do the Russians have to say for themselves?

Well, from day one they’re claimed MH17 was shot down by the Ukrainian military.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media “First-hand radar data identified all flying objects which could have been launched or were in the air over the territory controlled by rebels at that moment.”

“The data is clear-cut … there is no rocket. If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere,” he said.

But investigators have not been given access to the radar images the Russians have spoken of.

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So, you might be asking the question – what’s next?

It turns out prosecutors can’t file any charges, despite investigators identifying 100 people they describe as being of interest to them.

Why’s that?

Well, apparently it all comes down to the fact there is no international agreement on which court the case would be heard in.

International leaders haven’t lost hope however.

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called on the international community to “support the criminal investigation”.

“Australia calls on those states that can assist to fully cooperate with the investigation and prosecution,” she said in statement.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the report was an important step on the road to the “ultimate goal” of  “finding and prosecuting the perpetrators”.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he is seeking “firm action” and wants those responsible “brought to justice”.

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Do you think the Russians should be held accountable for the downing of MH17?