Relatives commemorate 4th anniversary of MH17 disaster

Relatives will commemorate their loved ones who were killed in the MH17 disaster at the National MH17 Monument in Vijfhuizen on Tuesday. Today is the fourth anniversary of the disaster that claimed 298 lives, including 196 Dutch.

During the commemoration, Haarlemmermeer mayor Onno Hoes and chairman of  Stichting Vliegramp MH17 Piet Ploeg, among others, will make speeches, according to the Telegraaf. Relatives will read the victims names and a minute of silence will be held at the time that the disaster happened. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will start the parade by laying flowers at the monument, which consists of 298 trees - one for each victim. 

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.

The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. In May the Netherlands and Australia officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile. 

Russia denies any involvement in the disaster, and repeatedly called the investigation biased. 

On Monday the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the G7 countries called on Russia to give clarification on the downing of flight MH17, calling the evidence of Russian involvement  "convincing, significant and deeply troubling". 

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