Kyiv, July 17, 2014. Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines was hit and crashed in Donetsk region near Ukraine-Russian border after 4 p.m. Kyiv time [GMT +2 – UCMC]. Reportedly, all 298 people on board, including 80 children, have died. According to a 4:50 pm post in a social network Vkontakte by the known pro-Russian terrorist Girkin-Strelkov the downing of the plane was a “successful operation” against the Ukrainian Armed Forces. At the time Girkin-Strelkov didn’t realize that this was an international passenger plane travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur through the territory of Ukraine.
The flight MH17 vanished from the radars at approximately 4:20 p.m. Kyiv time. According to the latest confirmed information there were 192 Dutch, 44 Malaysians [including 15 people from the air crew – UCMC], 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, ten British, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander on board of the crashed airliner.
Notably, the infamous pro-Russian terrorist and the current commander-in-chief of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Igor Girkin-Strelkov posted a message on his Vkontakte account just 30 minutes after the plane disappearance, boasting the downing of the AN-26 aircraft that he thought belonged to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. “Warnings have been issued – not to fly in “our sky”. Here is the video confirmation of yet another “birdfall”,” one can read the message on his account. Soon after the tragedy the message “mysteriously” disappeared but by then Ukrainian media have already re-posted screenshots proving the existence of such a statement.
Moreover, the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has released a recording of a phone conversation between the terrorists where they discussed the shooting of the passenger plane from the Chernukhino block post [controlled by the terrorists – UCMC] and first civilian casualties whose bodies they found scattered around the area of the crash.
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed his deepest and sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died in this terrible tragedy. He also advised the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to set up an Emergency State Commission to investigate the catastrophe together with ICAO and international experts, inviting Dutch and Malaysian representatives to join the investigation efforts.
This is the third such tragedy in recent days following AN-26 and SU-25 aircrafts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces which were shot down from the Russian territory, according to president.gov.ua.
The Ukrainian presidential administration has informed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take any actions to strike targets in the air throughout the duration of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, there were no Ukrainian Antiaircraft Defense Systems in the area.
The Ukrainian leadership has expressed confidence that those responsible for this tragedy would be brought to justice.
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