MH17 case to European Court of Human Rights

Russian Buk missile downs passenger plane MH17For the first time since World War II Russia downs an airliner (MH17) in Europe on July 17, 2014. Russia's ruler Vladimir Putin denies any Russian involvement. Several weeks later, on August 27, 2014, Russian troops invade the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea. Unsurprisingly, Putin also denies there is a Russian  invasion. Only after the incursion has been completed he acknowledges the invasion. Later on Russia annexes the Crimea, which stresses that Russia is a lawless country with corrupt rulers.

European Court of Human Rights

On July 10, 2020, the Dutch government decides to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the downing of flight MH17 that killed all 298 people on board. By submitting an inter-State application, the government is sharing all available and relevant information about the downing of flight MH17 with the ECtHR.

European Court of Human RightsThe contents of the inter-State application will also be incorporated into the Netherlands’ intervention in the individual applications submitted by the victims’ next of kin against Russia to the ECHR. Thus, the Dutch government is offering support to those individual cases.


‘Achieving justice for 298 victims of the downing of flight MH17 is and will remain the government’s highest priority,’ says foreign minister Stef Blok. ‘By taking this step today – bringing a case before the ECHR and thus supporting the applications of the next of kin as much as we can – we are moving closer to this goal.’ The UN Security Council will be notified of this step as well.

State responsibility

Russian fighter at a piece of MH17The government attaches importance to continuing the meetings with Russia on the matter of state responsibility. The purpose of these meetings is to find a solution that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage caused by the downing of MH17.


Nearly 6 years since the downing of flight MH17 the pursuit of truth, justice and accountability remains the top priority for the Dutch government. It has always said that it would not rule out any legal remedy to achieve this goal. This latest course of action brings us one step closer, according to Blok.

Related: Will Russia ever take responsibility for downing MH17?

Tags: MH17, ECHR, Dutch government, state responsibility

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