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Sunday, July 17, 2016

MH17 CRASH (17 JULY 2014)

            On this date, 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashes near the border of Ukraine and Russia after being shot down. All 298 people on board are killed.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17)[a] was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. Contact with the Boeing 777-200ER airliner was lost about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and crashed near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km (25 mi) from the border. The crash occurred during the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion, part of the ongoing war in Donbass, in an area controlled by the Donbass People's Militia.
According to American intelligence sources, the plane was mistakenly shot down by pro-Russian insurgents using a Buk surface-to-air missile (SA-11) fired from the territory which they controlled. Their judgement was based on sensors that traced the path of the missile, analysis of fragment patterns in the wreckage, voice print analysis of conversations in which separatist militants claimed credit for the strike, as well as photos and other data from social media sites. On 13 October 2015, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) released a final report on their investigation into the incident, concluding that the airliner was downed by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air 9M38-series missile with 9N314M warhead launched from Eastern Ukraine.
The Russian government blamed the Ukrainian government for the incident, saying that Ukraine was responsible for the crash because it happened in Ukrainian airspace. Immediately after the crash, a post appeared on the VKontakte social media profile attributed to Russian Colonel Igor Girkin, leader of the Donbass separatists, claiming responsibility for shooting down an AN-26 near Torez, but later the same day, the separatists denied involvement, and the post was removed. In November 2014, UK based investigative collective Bellingcat said that Russian-backed separatists were in control of a Buk missile launcher on 17 July and transported it from Donetsk to Snizhne. They later claimed to have proven that the Buk identified near the crash site was unlike any Ukrainian-used Buks and that it was elements of the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade that shot down the plane after crossing into Ukraine. In May 2016, Bellingcat said they had identified the launcher used as unit 332 based in Kursk, Russia. Their analyses were largely based on examination of photos in social media and other open-source information.
The Ukrainian government stated that the missile was launched by "Russian professionals and coordinated from Russia". In October 2014, the German Federal Intelligence Service reportedly concluded that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a captured Ukrainian Buk system. Malaysia proposed a United Nations resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of being behind the downing of the plane. The proposal gained a majority on the UN Security Council (11 countries voting for it, 3 abstaining), but it was vetoed by Russia. The crash is also the deadliest airliner shootdown incident, as well as Malaysia Airlines' deadliest incident and its second of the year, after the disappearance of Flight 370 four months earlier.

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