Today the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), of which Australia is a member, has released findings that provide further evidence of Russia’s pivotal role in the tragic downing of MH17 on 17 July 2014.
The JIT, which also includes member nations - Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine - has concluded that the BUK missile system that was used to down MH17, belonged to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade.
This follows earlier findings of the JIT that the BUK missile system was taken from Russia to eastern Ukraine and back after the downing, and that the missile launch site was an agricultural field controlled by pro-Russian fighters.
That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian Army was dispatched and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be of grave international concern. We are discussing these findings with our partners and considering our options.
We have full confidence in the independence of the JIT and in its thorough investigation.
Australia and our JIT partners are united in pursuing justice for those who lost their lives, including 38 people who called Australia home, and their loved ones, and to hold to account those responsible for this atrocious act.
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