MH17 Ukraine disaster: Services held to mark anniversary

Memorial services are being held to mark the first anniversary of the MH17 air disaster, in which 298 people died.

Villagers close to the crash site in Ukraine are holding a ceremony, as will the Netherlands where most of the passengers were from.
Australia has already held its memorial for the 39 citizens it lost.
Russian-backed rebels are widely believed to have shot down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Moscow denies this, blaming Ukrainian government forces for the disaster in the eastern Donetsk region.
Australia’s national memorial service was held in Parliament House in Canberra. A plaque with the names of the victims was unveiled in the gardens – it was set in soil brought back from Ukraine by an Australian police officer.
Speaking inside the Great Hall, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Australians owed it to the dead to bring the guilty to justice.
“Their passing leaves a void that can never be filled and a pain that still throbs,” he said.
Mr Abbott said he was humbled by the way the families and friends of the people killed on the flight had coped.
“In the worst of times you have displayed the strength of giants and the grace of angels,” he said.
Those who attended the service pinned sprigs of Australia’s national floral emblem, wattle, on a large wreath.
After the memorial, Mr Abbott met victims’ families and friends.
A memorial stone has been unveiled in Grabove, the village closest to the crash site in Ukraine, ahead of its memorial service.

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