Australia news LIVE: Investigators say Putin likely approved supply of missiles that shot down MH17; Voice to parliament debate continues

Key posts

  • Strong indications Putin approved supply of missiles that shot down MH17: investigators
  • Hopes fade as earthquake deaths close in on 12,000
  • Zelensky makes surprise visit to UK, appeals for fighter jets
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Strong indications Putin approved supply of missiles that shot down MH17: investigators

Russian President Vladimir Putin played a major role in supplying the anti-aircraft weaponry that downed Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over eastern Ukraine nine years ago, killing all 298 people on board, an international investigation team has found.

Dutch prosecutors said on Wednesday, European time, that there were “strong indications” that Putin had signed off on a decision to provide the missile to Moscow-backed separatists – but that his position as head of state would prevent any charges being brought under international law.

The wreckage of the MH17 flight, which was shot down in Ukraine in 2014.Credit:Getty

The five-nation investigative team announced it had suspended its criminal investigation because of insufficient evidence and immunity privileges, meaning further prosecutions of those who either fired the missile or ordered them to press the button are unlikely.

The Boeing 777 commercial jet was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing 15 crew members and 283 passengers from 17 nations, including 38 Australians.

The latest findings are available here.

Hopes fade as earthquake deaths close in on 12,000

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has admitted there were problems with his government’s initial response to a devastating earthquake in southern Turkey amid anger from those left destitute and frustrated over the slow arrival of rescue teams.

Erdogan, who contests an election in May, said on a visit to the disaster zone on Wednesday (local time) that operations are now working normally and promised no one would be left homeless, as the combined death toll across Turkey and neighbouring Syria climbs above 11,500.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a survivor speak as he visits the city centre destroyed by an earthquake in Kahramanmaras, southern Turkey.Credit:AP

Across a swath of southern Turkey, people sought temporary shelter and food in freezing winter weather, and waited in anguish by piles of rubble where family and friends might still lie buried.

Rescuers were still digging out some people alive, and finding others dead. Many Turks have complained about a lack of equipment, expertise and support to rescue those trapped – sometimes even as they could hear cries for help.

Further details are courtesy of our world desk.

Reuters, AP

Zelensky makes surprise visit to UK, appeals for fighter jets

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional appeal overnight (Australian time) for fighter jets as he presented the United Kingdom with the helmet belonging to one of his country’s most lethal pilots.

Zelensky visited King Charles III and said it was a great honour to meet the monarch at Buckingham Palace. Charles told him that “we’ve all been worried about you”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meeting King Charles.Credit:AP

The Ukrainian president used his speech to the Houses of Parliament to pre-emptively thank Britain for fighter jets it has not promised. Britain is investigating whether it can deploy them to Ukraine in the long-term.

His surprise visit is only his second trip outside the country since Vladimir Putin’s invasion almost 12 months ago.

More on the visit to London here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for your company.

It’s Thursday, February 9. I’m Broede Carmody and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • An international team of investigators has found strong indications that Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the supply of missiles that later brought down MH17 back in 2014.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has paid a surprise visit to London where he’s met with King Charles III and called for more weapons in the lead-up to the end of European winter.
  • Turkey’s president has addressed criticism of his government’s response to this week’s earthquake during a visit to the disaster zone.
  • In local news, economists believe there is a better than 50-50 chance that Australia could fall into a recession due to the Reserve Bank’s aggressive interest rate rises.
  • And the Productivity Commission has been asked to investigate the impact of giving families a 90 per cent childcare subsidy.
  • Defence Minister Richard Marles and the Coalition’s foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham will appear on Radio National later this morning. Stay tuned.
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