Igor Girkin, the former commander of pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, has been formally accused in a U.S. lawsuit of orchestrating the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
The lawsuit filed in Chicago also alleges that Girkin acted with the blessing of the Kremlin when his forces fired at the Boeing 777 that was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people aboard.
The lawsuit seeks $900 million for families of 18 passengers who were among the dead.
Lawyer Floyd Wisner is using the U.S. Torture Victim Protection Act, which can be used against foreign nationals, to bring the case against Girkin in a U.S. court.
Wisner said the lawsuit “is not about money. It is about getting answers from Girkin and putting pressure on Russia to cooperate” with an international tribunal to bring criminal charges against those responsible.