Ukraine’s president has insisted that only Russia could have supplied the sort of weapon which, he says, brought down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
Speaking on the first anniversary of the 17 July crash in the east of Ukraine, president Petro Poroshenko said the Boeing 777-200ER had become a “target of a ruthless terrorist attack”.
He claims the attack was launched from eastern Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian-backed militants.
Poroshenko says a “highly-technological weapon” was used against the aircraft which, he states, “could have come into the hands of the terrorists only from Russia”.
While the Dutch inquiry into the destruction of the 777 – which was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – has yet to reach a final conclusion, Poroshenko accuses the Russian government and military of playing a role in the event.
“It would not have happened without participation, without a direct order from the highest political and military leadership of the neighbouring state,” he says, adding that the attack was a “barbarian act”.
Russian authorities have attempted to distance themselves from involvement in the crash, putting forward a number of alternative theories, although none has proven convincing.
Poroshenko says there is a “moral duty” to “ensure a fair punishment for those guilty of downing the aircraft”, adding that Ukraine is backing the call by Malaysia and other countries to establish an international criminal tribunal over the loss of MH17.