The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) stands with the families of victims of MH17, who this week received justice in a criminal court in the Netherlands with the finding that pro-Russian fighters, under the control of Moscow, shot down the commercial flight over eastern Ukraine in 2014.
“We know that for the families, it has been eight years of deep pain and suffering. Nothing can take away the fact their innocent parents, step-parents, children and brothers and sisters were taken away from them in the most brutal way possible,” said Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM, AUO Co-Chair.
“We grieve that their pain was intensified by Russia’s refusal to acknowledge the truth about the tragic incident. It has meant eight years of listening to Russian lies, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. The court’s verdict can give the families the answers they sought – that pro-Russian fighters were guilty of bringing down the plane and the murder of everyone involved.
“Moreover, the court has found that the Russian Federation held overall control over the area of Donetsk where the plane was shot down,” he added.
The AFUO has welcomed the Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong’s comments that Australia will continue to put pressure on Russia and work with the international community to hold Russia accountable for its actions.
“As the court has found, Russian personnel, training, weapons and money were responsible for this tragedy. Russia must accept responsibility for this horrible crime and stop hiding the men responsible. As Penny Wong has said, Putin is harbouring murderers,” said Mr Romaniw.
“This is the pariah state which Russia has become. Mass murder is acceptable. Criminals are protected. Truth and justice are ignored,” he added.
Photo Source: AAP