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Village where Malaysian plane fell marks anniversary of crash's 298 dead

  • A relative of an Australian victim of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 touches a memorial that was unveiled outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Tearful relatives of several Australians who were flying on the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine a year ago gathered for a memorial service Friday that included the unveiling of a plaque set in soil from the place where they died.(AP Photo/David Gray, Pool)

    A relative of an Australian victim of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 touches a memorial that was unveiled outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Tearful relatives of several Australians who were flying on the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine a year ago gathered for a memorial service Friday that included the unveiling of a plaque set in soil from the place where they died.(AP Photo/David Gray, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Australian Federal Police officers carry a wreath to commemorate Australians that lost their lives in the MH17 disaster during a memorial service for the one year anniversary at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Thirty-eight Australian citizens and permanent residents among the 298 people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down. Everyone on board was killed.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)

    Australian Federal Police officers carry a wreath to commemorate Australians that lost their lives in the MH17 disaster during a memorial service for the one year anniversary at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Thirty-eight Australian citizens and permanent residents among the 298 people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down. Everyone on board was killed.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Rizk family member sheds a tear during a memorial service for the one year anniversary for Australians that lost their lives in the MH17 disaster at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Thirty-eight Australian citizens and permanent residents among the 298 people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down. Everyone on board was killed.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)

    A Rizk family member sheds a tear during a memorial service for the one year anniversary for Australians that lost their lives in the MH17 disaster at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Friday, July 17, 2015. Thirty-eight Australian citizens and permanent residents among the 298 people on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, when it was shot down. Everyone on board was killed.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Residents of the Ukrainian village where a Malaysian airliner was shot down with 298 people aboard are marking the disaster's anniversary.

Villagers carrying flowers gathered in the church in the center of Hrabove at the start of a procession to the crash site in nearby fields.

Friday's ceremony will include the dedication of a small stone with a plaque. The commemoration is organized by local leaders and the Russia-backed separatist rebels who control the area.

It comes amid an escalating war of words over who was responsible for destroying the plane.

Ukrainian and Western authorities say the plane was downed by a missile fired either by rebels or Russian troops who allegedly back them.

The rebels and Moscow say it was hit by a Ukrainian warplane or a Ukrainian-fired missile.