World

Actions

MH17: Ukraine, Russia Trade Blame As Media Speculates

As U.S. intel suggests Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, accusations are flying about who's responsible.
Posted at 4:42 PM, Jul 18, 2014

U.S. intelligence suggests Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was, indeed, shot out of the sky by an anti-aircraft missile in Eastern Ukraine. Now there are questions over who bears the responsibility for the lives of the 298 people who were on board. (Via Getty Images)

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blamed pro-Russian separatists from Ukraine's east on Friday and called on all governments "to support the Ukrainian government to bring to justice all ... who committed this international crime." (Via Getty Images)

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin points the finger back at Ukraine, he did not necessarily refute claims Russian-backed separatists downed the plane: "This tragedy would not have occurred if there were peace in that country. ... Certainly, the government over whose territory it occurred is responsible for this terrible tragedy." (Via Getty Images)

The Boeing 777 reportedly exploded 33,000 feet above the ground Thursday. The aftermath was catastrophic. It is believed everyone on board was killed, with Ukrainian officials claiming 181 corpses have already been found. (Via Getty Images)

President Obama laid out what U.S. intelligence has discovered about the incident at a press conference Friday. 

"Evidence indicates the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from areas controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine." (Via The White House)

President Obama went on to say separatists have downed multiple Ukrainian aircraft in the past few weeks, including a transport plane and helicopter. Separatists also claimed responsibility for shooting down a fighter jet. (Via The New York Times, CNN)

"Moreover, we know these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia. This includes arms and training, it includes weapons, and it includes anti-aircraft weapons." (Via The White House)

And then there's this: an intercepted phone call released by the Ukrainian government. It purportedly records a separatist militant explaining to a Russian agent that it was separatists who accidentally shot down Flight 17. (Via Ukrainian Security Service)

The authenticity of that recording has not been confirmed, but media outlets are also reporting further speculation of separatist involvement.

"An ominous message on Twitter: 'We warned you stay out of our skies'. Posted by someone claiming to be a rebel-backed commander, Igor Strelkov." (Via CNN)

Mashable explains Strelkov, also known as "Igor the Terrible," is the top military commander of a pro-Russian group in Eastern Ukraine.

Sky News reports the social media message was also posted with a video, which shows Flight 17's final moments and was allegedly filmed by those who shot it down. 

The message and video were deleted from the account shortly after they were posted. 

And according to multiple reports, not longer after they were removed, it was revealed the downed plane was a civilian aircraft. (Via The Epoch Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, International Business Times)

The Pentagon says it doesn't know who is directly responsible for firing the missile. President Obama has called for a cease-fire in Ukraine so international investigators can safely access the crash site.