Russia again blamed the Ukraine for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 in a surprise press conference held on Monday. According to the Russians, the BUK missile that shot down the Boeing was indeed produced in Russia, but was in Ukrainian hands at the time of the disaster. The international team investigating the disaster, JIT, said it will "carefully study" Russia's accusations, but also pointed out that in the past the country has been less than generous when it came to responding to requests for assistance, NOS reports.
Two Russian spies were arrested in the Netherlands, with the help of Dutch military intelligence service MIVD, this past spring. The two were on their way to Switzerland to hack into a laboratory currently doing investigations that may negatively affect Russia, NRC reports based on its own research.
Russian trolls are trying to influence Dutch discussions on social media with fake accounts, De Groene Amsterdammer reports based on its own research. These trolls show support for anti-Islam party PVV and spread pro-Russian information when it comes to the MH17 disaster, according to the weekly newspaper.
The United States State Department prepared a critical statement on Russia's involvement in the MH17 disaster, but never released it.
An Australian father of three children who were killed in the MH17 disaster condemned Unites States president Donald Trump for refusing to hold Russia and president Vladimir Putin to account for the tragedy. On Facebook Anthony Maslin pointed out some "irrefutable facts" about the disaster to Trump on Tuesday - the 4th anniversary of the Malaysia Airlines plane being shot down.
Russian internet trolls tried to influence the public debate in the Netherlands and Belgium using Twitter accounts that, according to Twitter, are linked to 'trolling factory' Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg. These accounts posted over 900 Dutch language tweets over the past two years, NRC reports based on its own research.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the G7 countries called on Russia to provide clarification on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. According to the G7, evidence from international investigations that MH17 was shot down by a Russian army BUK missile is "convincing, significant and deeply troubling", RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch police officers, soldiers, prosecutors and diplomats were spied on by Ukrainian and Russian secret services while they were in Ukraine after the MH17 disaster in 2014, RTL Nieuws reports based on well-informed sources.
Alex van der Zwaan, the Dutch lawyer who was sentenced to jail for lying to the FBI in Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian interference in the United States presidential elections in 2016, has been released from prison, NOS reports.
In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF, Russian president Vladimir Putin again denied that Russia was involved in the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. He called the disaster an "enormous tragedy", but added that the Joint Investigation Team's investigation into the perpetrators is "biased", NOS reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs does not rule out that in the future the Netherlands will also hold Ukraine accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster. "There is no concrete legal ground for this, but the cabinet does not rule anything out", he said in a parliamentary debate on the government's decision to hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight, NU.nl reports.
"When it comes to establishing the truth and accountability for what happened to MH17, no single state has the right to remain silent", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, NOS reports.
On Monday Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will explain the Netherlands and Australia's decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of flight MH17 to a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He is counting on unanimous support from the European Union on this decision, sources told newspaper AD.
"The disaster with MH17 is a black page in our history", Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after the Council of Ministers on Friday. He cut a trade mission to India short to discuss the interim results of the investigation into the disaster with the Council of Ministers. "We won't exclude any legal steps", the Dutch Prime Minster said, NU.nl reports.
The BUK missile system used to shoot down flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine in July 2014 belonged to the 53rd brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, the Joint Investigation Team revealed on Thursday. Russia denies this, NU.nl reports.
According to Russia, no Russian missile installation ever crossed the border between Russia and Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Defense says it had nothing to do with the downing of flight MH17.
The Netherlands and Australia hold Russia accountable for "its share in the downing of flight MH17". Both countries informed Russia about this step, the Dutch government announced in a statement on Friday.
The missile that shot down flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 came from the Russian Armed Forces, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) revealed at a press conference on Thursday morning. The question of who shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight was not answered on Thursday.
The Dutch government will stop using Russian anti-virus software from Kaspersky Lab out of concern that the Kremlin might use it for espionage, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security said in a letter to parliament, NU.nl reports.
Anti-virus software has in-depth access to ICT systems to combat viruses, Grapperhaus explained. Because of this extensive access "there is a risk of digital espionage and sabotage at the central government and the Dutch vital infrastructure", he wrote to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament.
Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan turned himself in on Monday to serve a 30 day long prison sentence he got for lying to the FBI in Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. Van der Zwaan is the first person to be sentenced in this investigation, Politico reports.
Van der Zwaan reported to a low-security facility in Pennsylvania. He is set to be released on June 4th, according to the newspaper.
The Public Prosecutor is investigating the involvement of seven Dutch companies in the construction of a bridge from Russia to Crimea. Due to EU sanctions against Russia, Dutch companies were not allowed to help build that bridge, NU.nl reports.
Belgium extradited 58-year-old Dutch man Guido W. to Russia on Tuesday. He is suspected of being a leader in one of the world's largest drug cartels, and of trafficking tons of cocaine from Latin America via Russian ports to Western Europe, AD reports.
Russia plans to bring 17 Syrian people, who were seen on footage of a believed poison gas attack in Douma, to the Netherlands. These people seen dying in the footage are alive and well, and in this way Russia wants to "unmask" the "unforgivable lies" over the incident, Alexander Shulgin, Russian ambassador to the OPWC, said to British news sender ITV News.
The National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) made sure all Dutch government organizations are aware of a warning issued by the American and British security services about Russian state hackers targeting network equipment. The NCSC, which falls under the Ministry of Justice and Security, takes this warning seriously and advises all Dutch organizations to check their network equipment for erroneous configurations, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS reports.