July 17th Day of Mourning Remembering the Tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

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July 17, 2015 will mark the one year anniversary of the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which resulted in the deaths of all 298 passengers and crew members on board. The Boeing 777-200ER, an international passenger flight en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down while flying over the occupied Donetsk oblast in Ukraine, by pro-Russian terrorists most likely using a BUK surface-to-air missile. Immediately following the crash, Russian Colonel Igor Girkin, leader of the so-called Donbas separatists, claimed responsibility and boasted on social media about shooting down a Ukrainian AN-26 military plane. However, once it became clear that Flight MH17 was a civilian aircraft, the terrorists denied any involvement and the post was taken down. Evidence, however, points to the fact that Flight MH17 was downed by pro-Russian terrorists.

The UCCA reiterates its call for the Russian backed terrorists not to obstruct a full, transparent and comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the downing of Flight MH17, and supports Malaysia’s recent request to the United Nations Security Council to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of causing the crash last year in Eastern Ukraine. The establishment of an international tribunal with the purpose of prosecuting persons responsible for crimes connected with this tragedy is imperative if we are to bring justice to the almost 300 innocent victims and their bereaved families.

On the one year anniversary of this tragic global catastrophe, let us honor the victims of this tragedy, whose lives were cut short as a result of this vile terrorist act. Let us also remember their families whose pain and loss will endure for years to come. We pray that they find peace.

This horrific act of terrorism is a reminder of the serious threat to global peace and security posed by Russia-backed terrorists in Eastern Ukraine.  As the 298 innocent victims have been silenced, we must now speak for them…our world has seen too many tragedies… It is simply not enough to raise one’s voice in one’s home. Rather we must raise our voices together in outrage at the violence that persists from terrorist groups such as the so-called Donbas separatists, who so flagrantly violate international law. The illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, which has led to the tragic downing of flight MH17, must be stopped before more lives are lost. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in this tragic incident and we ask God to remember all the innocent victims who perished and grant them eternal memory!



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