Malaysia Airlines MH17: Timeline of a disaster

College students gather around candles forming the shape of an airplane, during a candlelight vigil for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at a university in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, on July 19, 2014.
College students gather around candles forming the shape of an airplane, during a candlelight vigil for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at a university in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, on July 19, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE (AFP) - International investigators have concluded that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile, a Dutch paper said Tuesday (Oct 13) just hours ahead of the official report.

These are the main developments since the plane crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine last year, killing all 298 people aboard:

- 2014 -

- July 17: A Boeing 777 operated by Malaysia Airlines flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashes near the village of Grabove, in the strife-torn region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Dutch nationals account for two-thirds of the dead, alongside 30 Australians and 30 Malaysians with many having dual nationalities.

- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko calls it a "terrorist act". Pro-Russian rebels claim the airliner was shot down by a Ukrainian military jet. Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine "bears responsibility" for the crash.

- July 18: US President Barack Obama says a missile fired from separatist-held territory was to blame, maintaining the rebels would not have been able to hit the airliner without Russian support.

- US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, says the plane was probably shot down by an SA-11, a common variant of the Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile.

- July 21: The UN Security Council adopts a resolution condemning the attack and demanding access to the crash site.

- July 22: Rebels hand over the plane's two black boxes to Malaysian experts.

- Sept 9: A first report released by the Netherlands says MH17 broke apart mid-air after being hit by numerous high-speed objects.

- 2015 -

June 30: Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur says chances of finding human remains of the last two victims of the crash are "unlikely".

- July 17: In the Netherlands and other countries, relatives of MH17 victims join emotional memorials. Britain calls for an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible.

- July 29: Russia vetoes a UN Security Council resolution, drafted by Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, that seeks to set up a tribunal.

- Aug 11: Investigators probing the crash say they have identified seven large fragments "probably" from a BUK surface-air-missile system".

- Sept 25: The Dutch government says it will repatriate the latest remains found of victims from the crash.

- Oct 13: Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, quoting sources close to the investigation, says the inquiry has concluded that a Russian-made BUK missile fired from rebel-held eastern Ukraine shot down the plane.