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Netherlands Remembers MH17 Victims

  • VOA News

Hundreds and relatives joined dignitaries at a memorial service in Amsterdam on Monday for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, attended the ceremony, held in a conference center on the outskirts of the Dutch capital.

All 298 passengers and crew, about two thirds of them Dutch nationals, died when the Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17 over conflict-ridden eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine and the West have blamed pro-Russian separatists for the tragedy, claiming they fired a Russian-supplied BUK surface-to-air missile that brought down the plane.

The separatists have denied any involvement in shooting down the plane. For its part, Russia’s government has denied having supplied the missile and accused Kyiv of spreading false information.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine's government of hindering the investigation into the crash.

Speaking with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razik on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, Putin claimed Ukrainian government forces, not the separatists, are restricting access to the crash site by "constantly shelling" the area.

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