Four men have today gone on trial accused of the murders of all 298 people on board the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.
The Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile on July 17, 2014, as it flew over Ukranian territory.
A probe has said the Buk missile came from a military base in Russia and was downed in an area seized by Russian-backed rebels.
The trial of the four men, three Russian and one Ukranian, who are still at large, is being held in Amsterdam, Holland.
Flight MH17 had desparted from Schiphol Airport in Amesterdam and was destined for Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down killing all on board.
As proceedings began, a judge described the tragedy as an "atrocious disaster".
Head judge Hendrik Steenhuis said there had been a "tragic loss of human lives from all around the world".
Russia has denied any involvement in the disaster.
As the trial started the names of all 298 people, from 10 different countries, were read out.
Their relatives sat with their heads bowed and their eyes closed as they heard the names of their loved ones.
All four of the defendants are believed to be in Russia.
Judges ruled earlier that the men had waived their rights to attend and said proceedings would continue without them.
Head judge Hendrik Steenhuis said: "The silence in this court during the reading of all the names of the victims makes it (MH-17 disaster) clear once again and that means a moment of silence was fitting."
Prosecutors say the suspects helped supply the Russian missile system that downed the plane.
The four face preliminary charges of the murder of 298 people and of causing the aircraft to crash, resulting in the death of all aboard.
Judge Steenhuis said: "Many people have long waited for this day. This tragic loss of so many lives has touched many all over the world.
"The court wants to say it realises the impact of the loss of so many human lives and that the way it happened was almost incomprehensible."
The defendants – Russians Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Igor Girkin and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko – held senior posts in the pro-Russian militias in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
An official report, released the year after the disaster, revealed the horrifying details of the final moments of those on board.
Only the captain and two of the crew were killed instantly when the missile hit Flight MH17 just three feet from the cockpit.
Everyone else on board remained alive for 90 seconds before the plane exploded mid-air.
Harrowingly, investigators even found one of the passengers wearing an oxygen mask amid the wreckage of the plane, meaning they had time to put it on before they were killed.
The findings of the official report, compiled by the Dutch Safety Board, devastated the loved ones of those who died. They had hoped they'd been killed instantly.
Instead, most died due to “decompression, reduced oxygen levels, extreme cold, powerful airflow and flying objects.
The report added: “It cannot be ruled out that some occupants remained conscious during the 60 to 90 seconds before the plane crashed.
"Victims were barely able to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves…no indications were found of any conscious actions such as sending text messages.”
Claudio Villaca-Vanetta, had been told husband Glenn Thomas, of Blackpool, died “instantly or very quickly”.
He said: “Even if it was the estimated nine seconds for somebody to lose consciousness, it is still a lot of time.
“For most families of victims, including myself, we went through counselling and this was maybe the hardest point to accept – the terrible cruelty and the violence on bodies.”
Relatives of those killed have welcomed the trial.
Anton Kotti lost three family members in the tragedy.
He said: "It is very important for us because nobody had expected there would be a trial at all."
A Dutch-led international Joint Investigation (JIT) team spent years collecting evidence before issuing arrest warrants for the four suspects last year.
If convicted, the four men could face sentences of up to life in prison, although Russia does not extradite its citizens.
The Kremlin has questioned both the legitimacy of the international investigation and the independence of the court.
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