A Malaysian airliner was shot down during a flight over Ukraine at an altitude of about 10,000 meters. The incident killed almost 300 people.
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. Photo: Reuters
A Malaysian airliner was shot down during a flight over Ukraine at an altitude of about 10,000 meters, an aviation industry source told the Interfax news agency on Thursday. As the media outlet reported, a Malaysian plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur disappeared from radar at 10,000 meters and then crashed near the city of Shakhtarsk in Ukraine's Donetsk region, a source in the Ukrainian law enforcement authorities said.
According to the earler reports, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 has crashed in Ukraine not far from the Russian border.
"A Malaysia Airlines 777, which was fling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur started descending 50 kilometers before entering Russian airspace and was subsequently found burning on the ground on Ukrainian territory," the source told Interfax. The plane carried 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers, he said. The airliner was to cross the Russian border at around 5:25 p.m. Moscow time.
Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) denies involvement in the incident. "The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side," said DPR spokesperson Sergey Kavkaradze. "We just don't have such anti-aircraft defense. The firing range of our man portable air-defense system (MANPAD) is just 3,000-4,000 meters."
Meanwhile, Kiev accuses pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the airline. The councilor of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry Anton Gerashchenko claims in his Facebook post that the plane was shot down by the rebels from DPR who used self-propelled medium-range surface-to-air missile system “Buk”. At the same time, he shifts the responsibility to the Kremlin that allegedly supplies the "Buk" system to separatists.
According to Head of Russia’s Civil Aviation Commission Oleg Smirnov, any country should be responsible for security of its airspace. In response to the EU request on flight safety over Ukraine's territory, Kiev said that they could guarantee security on the height no lower than 7,000 meters, Smirnov said in an interview to Kommersant FM radio station.
“Of course, Ukraine in this case has been reckless,” he said pointing out to the fact they allowed flights over its airspace.
Meanwhile, after his telephone talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that American experts would join their Ukrainian counterparts to run an investigation conducted by International Civil Aviation Organization to figure out who is behind the airplane crash.