Canada

Evidence Russian missile shot down Flight MH17 unlikely to bring closure to victims' families

Evidence released Wednesday showing Malaysian Air Flight MH17 was brought down by a Russian missile answers some questions for the Toronto-area family of a passenger on the flight, but they don’t expect it to bring any resolution.

The family of an Ajax, Ont., man killed in the crash say the victims deserve justice

Andrei Anghel, 24, is pictured with his sister Lexi in a family photo. Anghel, a medical student, was among the 298 people killed on MH17. (Anghel family/Canadian Press)

Evidence released Wednesday confirming Malaysian Air Flight MH17 was brought down by a Russian missile answers some questions for the Toronto-area family of one of the passengers, but they don't expect it to bring any resolution.  

Ajax, Ont., resident Andrei Anghel was travelling to Bali with his girlfriend, Olga Ioppa, when the plane crashed in July 2014. Anghel, 24, was a medical student in Romania.

There were 298 passengers on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Wednesday's report concluded the plane was shot down by a Buk missile that had been moved from Russia into Ukraine, where the plane crashed.  

Anghel's sister, Alexandra, who goes by Lexi, says the family knew the report wouldn't lay specific blame, but would help them get some answers.

Anghel was the only Canadian on the flight. He was travelling to Bali with his girlfriend, Olga. (Facebook)

"It was just to kind of figure out what happened exactly and where the missile or whatever came from," Lexi told CBC's Susan Ormiston. "Sure it's kind of nice that someone else is laying a blame, and not just us as a family thinking it was Russia who did it."

Russia denies the allegations, and Lexi isn't hopeful that anyone will ever take responsibility for what happened.  

"With all the evidence, someone can say, 'This is your missile, you drove it there, you drove it back, fine,'" she said. "But no one is going to say, 'Yes we did it,' in order to be brought to trial."

Although she's doubtful a criminal trial will happen, she thinks the people on board deserve some kind of justice.

'I think they deserve someone to be brought ot justice for ending their lives the way they did.' 0:24

"The victims deserve somebody to pay for their actions, for sure. But in terms of it changing anything for everyone left behind, I don't think it will make much of a difference," she said.

With formal charges, a trial or conviction unlikely, the answer Lexi wants the most is to know whether the plane was brought down on purpose. 

"It'd be nice to know if it was an accident," she said. "I'd like to know if they brought a civilian plane down on purpose or whether they did just think it was another military airplane that shouldn't have been flying over there and they took it down, and then they realized their mistake."

Lexi Anghels wants to know if the MH17 was brought down on purpose 0:22

The more than two years since the crash haven't made things easier, Lexi said. It just means it's been that much longer since she spoke to her brother.

One thing that helps Lexi's parents, Anca and Sorin, is that they've become close to Olga's parents, and they chat online every couple of days, and came to stay with the Anghels for a week over the summer, she said. 

"And I think that keeps them going, knowing that both their children had found that kind of love keeps them going," she said.

For Lexi, more information about what happened to MH17 brings her some peace of mind, but the only thing that would make a difference she knows she won't get.

"Can you bring him back?"

Peace of mind doesn't bring your loved one back 0:26

With files from Susan Ormiston