A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 has crashed over Eastern Ukraine. From the BBC:
Malaysia airliner crashes in Ukraine - reportshttp://www.bbc.com/...
A Malaysian airliner with 295 people on board has crashed in Ukraine near the border with Russia, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, reports say.
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.http://www.reuters.com/...
The plane appeared to have come down in a region of military action where Ukrainian government forces are battling pro-Russian separatists.
A separate unnamed source in the Ukrainian security apparatus, quoted by Interfax, said the plane disappeared from radar at a height of 10,000 metres after which it came down near the town of Shakhtyorsk.
The plane was flying in a zone where Ukrainian military transport planes have been shot down, so there's a definite probability that it was shot down.
Update: A video of the plane burning in the distance:
9:04 AM PT: Another video, with some english subtitles:
9:21 AM PT: It seems that the "seapratists" thought it was a Ukrainian military plane and shot it down. They were bragging about it online before they realized that it was a civilian airliner:
Separatist media hub @strelkov_info -info" quotes a sep. source, taking responsibility for taking down a plane today pic.twitter.com/g1pNYphvoq
9:47 AM PT: Russian propaganda station LIFENEWS is the first on the scene. has a live feed, and the pictures from there are absolutely horrifying:
LIFENEWS, incidentally, is often on the scene in separatist-controlled areas when military action is going on, especially when it is time to "celebrate" a separatist success.
11:01 AM PT: Donetsk Governor's office is reporting that "separatists" are not allowing investigation team/response team to the site:
It's in Ukrainian, but Google translate does a decent job.
11:36 AM PT: Another video has surfaced, with a smoke trail showing that the plane went pretty much straight down. Since the region is controlled by separatists, this narrows the search for the culprits even more:
12:42 PM PT: A video has surfaced that purports to show a "separatist" Buk missile launcher smack in the middle of the area where the plane was shot down:
I can't confirm the location, but I'm sure that someone will be doing some geolocation shortly.
1:56 PM PT: The Ukrainian security services have posted a copy of a conversation that they say they intercepted between Russian security services and the leaders of the "separatists" that is very damning:
"gor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).
Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?
IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.
VG: How many minutes ago?
IB: About 30 minutes ago.
SBU comment: After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.
“Major”: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.
“Grek”: Yes, Major.
"Major": The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.
“Greek”: Well, what do you have there?
“Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.
“Greek”: Are many people there?
“Major”: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).
“Greek”: What kind of aircraft?
“Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.
“Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?
“Major”: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.
“Greek”: Are there documents?
“Major”: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.
Militant: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.
They say on TV it’s AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?
Nikolay Kozitsin: That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on."
3:06 PM PT: It has now been confirmed that the plane was shot down, if anyone still had doubts:
"The United States also has concluded that the plane was shot down, but hasn't pinpointed who was responsible, a senior U.S. official told CNN's Barbara Starr.
The Boeing 777 carrying 295 people fell from the sky near the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, according to a Facebook post from a top Ukrainian official, as it flew at about 10,000 meters (nearly 33,000 feet) on the way from Amsterdam to Malaysia.
A radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down, the senior U.S. official said. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said. The United States is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from."
I'm sure we'll know pretty soon where the missile came from.
Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 4:20 AM PT: Unconfirmed reports that Russian "separatists" have removed the black boxes and sent them to Russia. Also, a new video has surfaced that purports to show a BUK missile system being driven from Ukrainian to Russian territory. One should note that witnesses described two explosions and that this BUK only has two of four missiles left:
Satellites are probably taking all kinds of pictures of this area, so we'll likely get more information on this in the future.