A thorough investigation into the events surrounding the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 has concluded that the aircraft was shot down by a missile launched from a ground-based weapon system.
Flight MH17 was lost over Ukrainian airspace on July 17, 2014, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The aircraft broke up in mid-air, killing all 298 on board.
The outcome of the investigation, which has been based on over half a million videos, photographs, and hundreds of thousands of other pieces of evidence, concludes that the jet was hit a a anti-aircraft missile launched from a Russian-made Buk weapon system.
Witnesses accounts also revealed that while the launcher was sited on Ukrainian soil, it was moved back to Russian territory shortly after the weapon was fired.
While the report conclusively states the method by which MH17 was destroyed, it falls short of determining which side of the conflict actually pressed the button. Fighting on the ground directly beneath MH-17’s flight path was fierced at the time of the disaster, and the authorities have not been able to pinpoint who fired the weapon that brought the airliner down.
The aircraft broke apart over rebel-held territory, and the wreckage field measured several miles wide.
The downing of MH17 was a pivotal fact in the imposing of sanctions on Russian over the Ukrainian conflict.