Ukraine’s Interior Minister adviser, Anton Geraschenko, is accusing Russia or pro-Russian militants to have shot down a Malaysian Airlines’ Boeing 777 carrying 295 people. A Buk surface-to-air missile is presumed to be the weapon which brought down the jumbo jet near the Ukraine-Russia border on Thursday, killing everyone onboard. World leaders are still awaiting official confirmation whether or not the plane was intentionally shot down, as it was initially reported as a crash.
MH17 took off from Amsterdam, headed for Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight local time. Malaysia Airlines confirmed this morning that they had lost contact with the jet over Ukrainian airspace. MH17 disappeared from radar near Kremenchuk and crashed landed within 25 miles of the border outside of Torez, a small town to the east of Donetsk. Eastern Ukraine has been the focal point of the civil war between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels for months. Multiple Ukrainian military planes have also been shot down in the past few days, though Ukrainians are directly blaming Russian fighter jets rather than surface-to-air missiles used by separatists.
All in all, none of the 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers are presumed to have survived. At this point, it’s nothing more than either side pointing fingers at one another. Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, denied claims that his military attacked any airborne targets. Pro-Russian separatists say that they don’t even have access to the alleged Buk anti-aircraft weapons and Russia is saying their fighters have not been patrolling the border. Whether or not MH17 had crashed or been shot down, the White House acknowledges this situation as an “international incident." MH17 may have been shot town because it flew through Donetsk’s closed airspace, which is a “no-fly zone” through October 31.
A list of names of those on board has not yet been released, though there may have been as many as 23 Americans on MH17. An investigation is underway involving multiple nations to probe the official cause of the crash while the violence in Eastern Ukraine has showed no sign of slowing down.