DONETSK, July 17. /TASS/. One year after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in war-torn eastern Ukraine, residents of nearby villages gathered at the crash site to release 298 balloons in memory of the crash victims on Friday.
The village of Grabovo in the Donetsk Region where the plane crashed on July 17, 2014 killing all the 298 people on board became the center of mourning events.
A granite obelisk with an inscription "In memory of 298 innocent victims of the Civil war" was unveiled in Grabovo, which also hosted a memorial service and an exhibition of photographs from the crash site.
Some 500 people gathered for a rally in memory of the MH17 crash victims carrying flags of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republics (DPR), as well as the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and other countries that lost their nationals in the tragedy.
DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko laid flowers to the memorial and addressed the mourners saying that the Donetsk republic was ready to help everyone seeking truth about the crash.
"The Donetsk People’s Republic was giving all the possible assistance to the investigation of this terrible crime from the very first day," he said.