The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) above eastern Ukraine in 2014 was a catalytic event. Moscow’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and its covert war in the Donbas produced a weak reaction from Europe. In the aftermath of MH17, the Kremlin’s involvement was much harder to ignore. Early evidence indicating Kremlin involvement in shooting down the civilian airliner helped push the European Union to levy severe sanctions on Russia in the summer of 2014. After six years of investigation, Dutch authorities have begun prosecuting those suspected of involvement in the Netherlands. Their comprehensive and deliberate investigation and trial seeks to indict those responsible and hold them to account, and the Dutch government recently announced it is taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights.

On the occasion of the sixth anniversary, Christo Grozev, lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, Olena Zerkal, advisor to the CEO of Naftogaz, and Michael Bociurkiw, an independent global affairs analyst, writer, and speaker, join moderator Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. They evaluate the trial and where matters currently stand, assess how the Kremlin has been held accountable thus far, and discuss what political implications lie ahead.


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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.