In November, we filed a lawsuit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights. We did this because we want an independent legal body to issue a ruling on Russia’s role in the downing of MH17 and for justice to be served.

In May, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is conducting the criminal investigation on behalf of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, made public some evidence it has of Russia’s involvement in the incident.

The Dutch Safety Board and the investigative journalist collective Bellingcat had already proven the involvement of Ukrainian separatists and Russia in this heinous crime. The United Nations Security Council confirmed the JIT’s findings and has called upon Russia several times to admit its role.

Russia, however, denies all responsibility and has done nothing but obstruct the investigations by peddling alternative theories involving Ukraine, giving incorrect information or withholding it. Of course, Ukraine can be accused of failing to close its airspace, but there has so far been zero evidence to suggest that it downed MH17.

We, the relatives, have become puppets in Russia’s geopolitical theater. Over and over again, the Russian authorities have rubbed salt in our wounds. Human remains are still being “found” in impossible locations, and only being returned to mourning relatives after endless bureaucracy. My own brother is one of two victims whose remains were never found.

It shows that neither the Russian authorities nor the separatists have any respect for the sanctity of human life or the victims’ relatives. We, therefore, have no choice but to take legal action against the Russian state so that justice will triumph and to honor the memory of those we love.