Remembering the victims on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Flowers and the message ‘RIP to our Dutch Friends’ written on traditional Dutch footwear sitting atop bushes in front of the Netherlands Embassy (© AP Images)
Flowers for victims of the MH17 crash were left at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington in July 2014. (© AP Images)

U.S. Department of State spokesman Mark Toner issued this statement to mark the second anniversary, on July 17, 2016, of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17:

Two years ago today, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, taking the lives of 298 innocent people from 11 countries. Our sympathy and thoughts remain with the families and friends of the MH 17 victims.

In October 2015, we welcomed the findings of the Dutch Safety Board in its final report on the cause of the MH 17 crash. This report validated that MH 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Our own assessment has not changed — the missile was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.

The United States continues to work with the Joint Investigation Team and law enforcement authorities. We have full confidence that these professionals are conducting an impartial, credible and comprehensive investigation that will form the basis of an independent prosecution to bring the perpetrators of this tragedy to justice.