A court in The Netherlands has found that a Russian-made missile supplied by Russia and fired by an armed group under Russian control brought down passenger jet MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 people.
Its also convicted three men and acquitted one for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight in 2014.
Russians Igor Girkin and Sergei Dubinsky and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko “are found guilty” of murder and intentionally causing an aircraft to crash, while Russian Oleg Pulatov was not guilty, head judge Hendrik Steenhuis said.
The missile attack was one of the most notorious war crimes in Ukraine before the current conflict initiated by Russian began this year.
The judges ruled that it was a deliberate action to bring down a plane, even though they had intended to shoot down a military not a civilian aircraft.
On 17 July 2014, 298 people, including 80 children and 15 crew, boarded Malaysia Airlines flight 17 to Kuala Lumpur at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
The plane was cruising at 33,000 feet over Ukraine. It was the early days of Russia’s efforts to control parts of the country.
At the time this was a relatively low-level conflict zone, but fighting had recently expanded into the air. In the preceding months a number of military planes had been shot down.
In response, Ukraine closed the airspace at lower altitudes – up to 32,000 feet. But planes were still crossing the country.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was flying 1,000 feet above this restricted airspace.