National

How the MH17 atrocity played out

By AAP Newswire

The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and how the world reacted to the atrocity.

* 2014

July 17 - Flight MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashes in Ukraine's disputed Donetsk region. Debris falls on an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

July 19 - Ukraine says it has evidence that Russia was at least partially responsible, likely by providing an anti-aircraft missile system to shoot down the plane.

July 21 - Separatists hand flight recorders from the crash site to international investigators. Russia says it has evidence that a Ukrainian warplane might have shot down the carrier.

September 9 - Dutch aviation officials issue a preliminary report saying the crash was most likely caused by a large number of small, high-energy objects hitting the plane, apparent evidence of a missile strike.

* 2015

October 13 - A report by Dutch investigators says the plane was downed by a Buk anti-aircraft missile, apparently fired from rebel-held territory.

October 14 - Russian aviation officials say the plane could have been shot down from territory controlled by the Ukrainian military.

* 2016

May 21: An Australian law firm files a compensation claim in the European Court of Human Rights against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia, on behalf of five families who lost loved ones.

June 6 - A Dutch-led team of international investigators, including from Australia, say part of a Russian-made Buk missile has been found in wreckage from the crash.

September 28 - The same international team concludes the plane was shot down by a Buk missile taken into the conflict zone from Russia.

* 2017

July 6 - The Dutch government, with support of Australia and other investigating nations, says it will prosecute suspects in The Hague if there's enough evidence.

* 2018

May 24 - International investigators conclude the Buk missile that shot down the plane came from Russia's 53rd Antiaircraft Missile Brigade.

May 25 - Australia's then foreign minister Julie Bishop says the only reasonable conclusion to draw "is that Russia was directly involved in the downing of MH17". Australia seeks to open talks with Russia, to hold the nation to account for the atrocity.

September 17 - Russia claims the missile was sent to Soviet Ukraine after it was made in 1986 and it never returned to Russia.

* 2019

June 19 - Dutch prosecutors charge Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian Leonie Kharachenko over the mass killing. A trial in absentia is likely with the two countries unlikely to give up the men.

- Moscow rejects the charges against the three Russians as "absolutely unfounded".

- The families of Australian victims say justice must be done, and lies must be exposed, but the trial of the four men cannot change the tragedy brought upon them.