The Downing of MH17
Recordings and video from MH17's attackers
A recording of a communication between the perpetrators and their commanders appears has been found since the disaster:
A: They have just shot down a plane. The Miner Group. It fell outside Yenakieve.
B: – The pilots? Where are the pilots?
A: – They’ve gone to conduct a search. And to take photos of the downed plane. The smoke is billowing from it.
B: – How many minutes ago?
Russian-led forces soon appeared to inform their command about the successful operation. That was before Russian commander Igor Strelkov, a.k.a Igor Girkin, appeared to take to social media network VK to boast about downing a Ukrainian military plane.
“In the area of Torez an AN-26 plane was just shot down, it is somewhere near the mine ‘Progress.’ We warned them – do not fly in “our skies,” he wrote.
But very quickly, they realized they had shot down a civilian airliner.
A: In short, it is definitely a civilian board. There are the remnants of inner brackets, chairs and bodies there.
B: I see. Any weaponry there?
A: Nothing at all. Civilian things. Medical scraps. Towels. Toilet paper.
– Any documents?
– Yes. Indonesian student’s. From Thompson University.
Igor Strelkov deleted his original VK post and replaced it with a denial that Russian-led forces had the weaponry to hit targets at such an altitude. He wrote:
“Pro-Russian fighters do not possess weaponry capable of shooting down an airplane at an altitude of 10,000 kilometers. The portable anti-aircraft missile systems operated by the Russians have a maximum range of some 3,000 meters.”
The Malaysia Airlines plane fell in the village of Hrabove, situated in the occupied territory of Donetsk region.
All 283 passengers and 15 crew members lost their lives. Investigators said the plane was shot down by a Russian-made BUK anti-aircraft missile system. The pictures of its transfer from the military base near Kursk were posted on social networks by local residents.
In May of this year, the Netherlands and Australia accused Moscow of shooting down the plane. The two countries have urged Russia to take responsibility for the tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice.