July 17, 2019

Menendez Commemorates Fifth Anniversary of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Downing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, issued the following statement marking the five years since Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

“On this day five years ago, 298 innocent civilians were killed when Russian government-backed separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The victims included people from all walks of life: college students, AIDS activists, teachers, and families. Eighty of them were children. I join the rest of the world in remembering these innocent people, whose lives ended so cruelly.

“Despite Russian government disinformation and attempts by the separatists to conceal evidence, an extensive international investigation has made the truth clear: Moscow provided the surface-to-air missile the separatists used to destroy the plane. I am glad that Dutch authorities have charged four men with murder for their role in this crime. The fight for justice will not be easy, but it is necessary.

“This appalling attack fits a long pattern of Kremlin aggression that continues into today. Moscow continues to support an illegal war in Ukraine, back a murderous regime in Syria, and spread lies and divisiveness in democracies throughout the world. The United States must work with our friends in Europe to increase pressure on Russia until it changes its behavior. Here in Congress, the Senate must take up the bipartisan DASKA bill to make clear that Russian aggression will not stand. We cannot bring back the 298 civilians we lost five years ago, but we can ensure it never happens again with a clear, strong, and united response to the Kremlin’s malign activities.”


Press Contact

Juan Pachon 202-224-4651