Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: Ukraine rebels deny 'shooting down' passenger plane on Russian border
Donetsk People's Republic PM says incident is a 'provocation by the Ukrainian military'
Thursday 17 July 2014
Ukrainian rebels have denied any involvement in the ‘shooting down’ of a Malaysian passenger aircraft near the Russian border in eastern Ukraine in which 295 people are reported to have been killed.
The commercial Boeing airliner was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it disappeared from radar, sources told the Interfax news agency.
According to Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Flight MH17 was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet over eastern Ukraine when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher.
Donetsk People's Republic PM Aleksandr Boroday has rejected any aggression by the rebels, who are backed by Russia, and called the incident a “provocation by the Ukrainian military”.
“We confirm that the plane crashed not far from Donetsk,” Boroday said. “Representatives of Donetsk People's Republic have headed to the scene of the plane search.”
“Self-defense forces have no air-defence, which could target transport aircraft at that height,” he told Interfax.
The Ukraine president, Petro Poroshenko, said his forces had also had no involvement: “Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets”.
Russia’s military has also said that none of its military planes have been flying close to the Russia-Ukraine border on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported citing a military official.
The Interfax report said the plane came down 50 km (20 miles) short of entering Russian airspace. It “began to drop, afterwards it was found burning on the ground on Ukrainian territory,” the unnamed source said.
There were 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board the jet.
Malaysia Airlines posted a tweet on its official account confirming that it had “lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam”.
“The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow,” it tweeted at 4.36pm GMT.
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...