Council of Europe: Russia must take responsibility for MH17 catastrophe

The Council of Europe has adopted a declaration which asks Russia to admit responsibility for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, RBC reports.

“The EU calls on Russia to take responsibility and to fully cooperate with the ongoing investigation,” the declaration reads.

On 19 July, the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) pressed charges against four suspects for complicity in the incident: the Russian citizens Major-General Sergey “Gloomy” Dubinsky, Colonel Oleg Pulatov, Colonel Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, and the Ukrainian citizen Leonid “Mole” Kharchenko.

Dubinsky, Pulatov, Girkin and Kharchenko have been placed on the international wanted list. Their trial is scheduled to begin on 9 March 2020.

Previously Bellingcat published the real names of several soldiers who featured in phone calls intercepted by the Security Service of Ukraine, as well as a preliminary analysis of their involvement in transporting the Buk missile system and in the downing of the Boeing.

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over Ukraine’s Donetsk region on 17 July 2014. All 298 people on board were killed.

A joint investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider was able to identify the key suspects with the aliases “Orion” and “Dolphin”. Dolphin turned out to be Colonel-General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, chief inspector of Russia’s Central Military District. Two independent expert analyses confirmed that General Tkachev’s voice is identical to that in the recording.

Orion turned out to be GRU General Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov, also known as former South Ossetia Defense Minister Andrey Laptev, who has supervised Russian troops in Ukrainian territory and also commanded the Wagner private military company.

  Russia, Council of Europe, MH-17, Netherlands