Malaysian Airliner Shot Down in Eastern Ukraine
nsnbc : A Malaysian Airliner with some 300 on board has reportedly crashed in eastern Ukraine. The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashed near the town of Hrabove, near the Russian – Ukrainian border.
Anton Geraschenko, the Head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, said that the plane had 285 passengers and 15 crew on board. Malaysian Airlines confirmed that a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashed in Ukraine. The plane is reportedly Flight MH17 out of Amsterdam.
The Donetsk People’s Republic, where fighting between the rebelling southeastern Ukrainian regions self-defense forces and the National Guard and ADS forces loyal to the Pravy Sector continue, stated that it has no part in the incident and does not have weapons to bring down any airplane from the height at which commercial airliners fly.
A spokesperson for local self-defense forces reported that the plane was shot down by a missile, and that the missile was fired from air defenses operated by troops loyal to Kiev. Air defense systems had reportedly been set up in the region within-the last few days.
He asserted, that this information will be confirmed, and reiterated that the local self-defense forces had no weapons that could bring down a plane from the height commercial airliners use. Ukraine’s President, Petro Pososhenko, for his part, also asserted that Ukrainian military forces were not involved in the incident.
Analysts, however, repeatedly stressed that Poroshenko has a political responsibility, but that he has little, if any command influence over the Svoboda Party dominated National Guard and the Pravy Sector dominated ADS troops in Ukraine.
Responding to a question by a foreign journalist in New York, Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin asserted that Russia was not involved. The plane crashed some 12 kilometers from the Russian border.
The Malaysian Ministry of Defense states, that it is aware of that the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 had crashed, but that it, of course, was impossible to discern what might have caused the crash.
Initial reports, that the plane should have flown through or above a restricted area, could not be confirmed. The IATA in Geneva, issued a statement saying that based on currently available information, it is believed that the airspace that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions
The plane crashed as a trilateral meeting about a ceasefire was scheduled to take place Thursday evening. A new round of trilateral talks on the civil war in Ukraine with representatives of Kiev, the rebelling southeastern regions and the OSCE is scheduled for 19:00 local time Thursday evening.
The talks follow strong statements by Russian UN Envoy Vitaly Churkin on July 11, following permanent Security Council member’s veto of Russian draft resolutions on Ukraine and a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian and security situation.
Earlier this year a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, flight MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The plane was never found. The crash of MH17 would be the second fatal crash of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 within one year.
The government of the rebelling Donetsk region and Kiev agreed on a ceasefire to investigate. There has been established consensus that the plane has been shot down by a missile. A large number of eyewitnesses reports they saw a missile bring down the plane.
At least one of the plane’s two black boxes has been found. It is currently uncertain who will carry out the analysis of the data from the black boxes. The situation has already begun to be politicized with media like the Sun pointing at “Putin” and his missile.
nsnbc is working at the case and we will update our readers as soon as new, verifiable information has become available to us. We will likewise return with public service information such as passenger lists and more as soon as possible.
CH/L – nsnbc 17.07.2014
Investigative report by nsnbc editor Christof Lehmann: