Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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,[2] killing all 283 passengers and
15 crew on board.[3][4] The Boeing 777-200ER airliner lost contact near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast,
Ukraine, about 50Â km (31Â mi) from the Ukraine-Russia border and crashed near Torez, 40Â km
(25Â mi) from the border.[5] The crash occurred in the conflict zone of the ongoing War in Donbass,
in an area controlled by the Donbass People's Militia.
The plane is believed to have been downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory
controlled by pro-Russian separatists.[6] The cause is under official investigation, being led by the
Dutch Safety Board. Witnesses in Torez reported sightings on the day of the incident of what
appeared to be a Buk missile launcher,[7][8] and AP journalists reported sightings of a Buk system in
separatist controlled Snizhne.[9] Shortly after the crash, Igor Girkin, leader of the Donbass
separatists, was reported to have posted on social media network VKontakte, taking credit for
downing a Ukrainian military aircraft. The separatists later denied involvement after learning that a
civilian airliner had been destroyed, saying they did not have the equipment or training to hit a
target at that altitude.[10][11][12][13]
On 22 July a soldier revealed to an Italian reporter that fellow separatists had told his unit the
aircraft had been shot down under the assumption that it was Ukrainian.[14] Unnamed US
intelligence officials stated that sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel patterns in the
wreckage, voice print analysis of separatists' conversations in which they claimed credit for the
strike, and photos and other data from social media sites all indicated that Russian-backed
separatists had fired the missile.[15] The Russian Ministry of Defense has maintained that US claims
of separatist responsibility were "unfounded".[16]
The crash of MH17 marks the fifth Boeing 777 hull loss, the third in just over a year.[17][18] With
298 deaths, MH17 is the deadliest air incident in Ukraine[19] and the deadliest airliner shootdown
in history.[20] The crash was Malaysia Airlines' worst incident and its second of the year, after the
disappearance of Flight 370 (9M-MRO) on 8 March, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.[21]
1 Aircraft
2 Passengers and crew
3 Background
4 Crash
5 Aftermath
6 Investigation
6.1 Cause
6.1.1 Speculation about cause and responsibility
6.2 Recovery of casualties
7 Reactions
8 Russian media coverage
9 Maps
10 See also
11 Notes
12 References
13 External links
Flight 17 was operated with a Boeing 777-2H6ER,[b] serial number 28411, registration
9M-MRD.[22] The 84th Boeing 777 produced, it first flew on 17 July 1997, exactly 17 years before
the incident, and was delivered new to Malaysia Airlines on 29 July 1997.[23] Powered by two Rolls-
Royce Trent 892 engines and carrying up to 282 passengers (35 business and 247 economy), the
aircraft had recorded more than 43,000 hours in 6,950 cycles before the crash.[24][25]
The Boeing 777, which entered commercial service on 7 June 1995, has one of the best safety
records in commercial aircraft.[26] In June 2014 there were about 1,200 aircraft in service, with 340
more on order.[27]
Passengers and crew
People on board by nationality[21][28]
 New Zealand
 United Kingdom[g]
All 283 passengers and 15 crew died.[30][31][32] The crew were Malaysian and about two-thirds of
the passengers were Dutch.[21][33][34] By 19 July, the airline had determined the nationalities of all
298 passengers and crew.[21] The nationalities are noted in the table.
Among the passengers were delegates en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in
Melbourne, including Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, which
organized the conference.[35][36][37] Many initial reports erroneously indicated 100 delegates to
the conference were aboard, but this was later revised to six.[38] Also on board were Dutch senator
Willem Witteveen,[39] Dutch musician Cor Schilder (Pan) of Vast Countenance,[40][41] Australian
author Liam Davison,[42] and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay.[43]
At least twenty family groups were on board the aircraft, and eighty of the passengers were
See also: 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
A few airlines started to avoid eastern Ukrainian airspace in early March in the wake of the 2014
Crimean crisis, including Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and British Airways.[46][47] In April, the
International Civil Aviation Organization warned governments that there was a risk to commercial
passenger flights over Ukraine.[48] The US Federal Aviation Administration issued restrictions on
flights over Crimea, to the south of MH17's route, and advised airlines flying over the remainder of
Ukraine to "exercise extreme caution".[48][49]Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and others
continued overflying eastern Ukraine until after MH17 was shot down.[50]
Since the start of the conflict, several Ukrainian Air Force aeroplanes have been downed. On 14
June, an Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft was shot down on approach to Luhansk International
Airport; all 49 people on board died.[51] After that incident, on 29 June, Russian news agencies
reported that insurgents had gained access to a Buk missile system after having taken control of a
Ukrainian air defence base (possibly the former location of the 156th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment
[156 zrp] of the Ukrainian Air Force).[52][53][54] On the same day, the Donetsk People's Republic
claimed possession of such a system in a since-deleted tweet.[53][55]
On 14 July, a Ukrainian Air Force An-26 transport plane flying at 21,000Â ft (6,400Â m) was shot
down.[56][57] Militia reportedly claimed via social media that a Buk missile launcher had been used
to bring down the aircraft.[58] American officials later said evidence suggested the aeroplane had
been shot down from Russian territory.[59] On 16 July, a Sukhoi Su-25 close air support aircraft was
shot down. The Ukrainian government said the Russian military had shot down the aircraft with an
air-to-air missile fired by a MiG-29 jet in Russia; a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry
rejected that report as "absurd".[60][61]
On 15 July, following his visit to Kiev, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Rados?aw Sikorski warned
about the dangers posed by the continued Russian military support for pro-Russian separatists,
especially ground-to-air missiles.[62] On the same day, an unnamed Associated Press journalist saw
a Buk launcher in Snizhne, a town in Donetsk Oblast that is 16 kilometres (10Â mi) southeast of the
crash site. The reporter also saw seven separatist tanks at a petrol station near the town.[63]
Associated Press journalists reported that the Buk M-1 was operated by a man "with unfamiliar
fatigues and a distinctive Russian accent" escorted by two civilian vehicles.[9]
The airspace above Donetsk Oblast was closed by Ukraine below 26,000 feet (7,900Â m) on 1 July
2014 and, on 14 July, below 32,000 feet (9,800Â m).[64][65] The route in Russian airspace that
MH17 would have taken was closed below 32,000 feet (9,800Â m) by Russian air control a few hours
before the airliner took off.[66] As with other countries, both Russia and Ukraine receive overflight
fees for every commercial aircraft that flies through their borders. This may have contributed to the
continued availability of civilian flight paths through the conflict zone.[67][68]
According to Malaysia Airlines, MH17 filed an IFR flight plan requesting to fly at a cruising altitude
of 35,000 feet (11,000Â m), but was directed to 33,000 feet (10,000Â m).[69] The aircraft entered
Ukrainian airspace climbing through 32,000 feet (9,800Â m), and climbed to 33,000 feet
(10,000Â m) during its transition across the Kiev flight information region.[70]
Route of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
On 17 July 2014, Flight 17 departed from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Gate G03 at 12:14Â CEST
(10:14Â UTC)[71] and was due to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 06:00, 18 July MYT
(22:00, 17 July UTC).[h]
Eurocontrol, which oversees the filing of all IFR flight plans in the region, stated that at the time of
the incident the aircraft was in unrestricted airspace at flight level 330 (33,000Â feet or
10,060Â metres).[76] Malaysia Airlines stated that Ukrainian ATC had lost contact with the airliner
at 14:15 UTC,[i] 30 km (19 mi) from the TAMAK waypoint at 47°51?24?N 39°13?6?E /
47.85667°N 39.21833°E, which is on the Russian border[77][78] and that the aircraft's
emergency locator beacon was at 48°07?23?N 38°31?33?E / 48.12306°N 38.52583°E.[79]
The last transponder transmission recorded by Flightradar24 was at 13:21 and placed it at
48°02?25?N 38°46?22?E / 48.0403°N 38.7728°E and 33,000 feet (10,000 m), heading 118°
at 490 knots.[80][81][82] Flightradar24 also reported that a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER
(Flight SQ351) and an Air India Boeing 787-8 (Flight AI113) were each about 25Â km (16Â mi) away
from the Malaysian airliner when it disappeared.[83]
The aircraft crashed outside Hrabove, near Torez in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast.[5] The
fireball on impact is believed to have been captured on video.[84] Photographs from the site of the
crash show scattered pieces of broken fuselage and engine parts, bodies, and passports.[85] Some of
the wreckage fell close to houses in Hrabove.[86] Dozens of bodies fell into crop fields, and some fell
into houses.[87]
Immediately following the incident, Ukraine closed all routes in eastern Ukrainian airspace, at all
altitudes.[76] Airlines including Aeroflot, Transaero, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic,
Lufthansa, and S7 Airlines announced their intention to instruct pilots to bypass Ukrainian
Shortly after the crash, it was announced that Malaysia Airlines would retire flight number MH17
and change the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur route to flight number MH19 beginning on 25
July.[89][90] On 18 July 2014, shares in Malaysia Airlines dropped by nearly 16%.[91]
There have been reports that credit and debit cards may have been looted from the bodies of the
victims, and the Dutch Banking Association reported that it would take "preventative measures"
against possible fraud.[92] There are also accounts of corpses and their possessions being removed
and evidence at the crash site being destroyed.[93][94]
On 23 July, two Ukrainian military jets were hit by missiles at the altitude of 17,000 feet (5,200Â m)
close to the area of the MH17 crash. According to the Ukraine Security Council, the missiles came
from Russia.[95]
Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin E. Dempsey has said that instead of backing away
from supporting the rebels in the wake of the airline tragedy, Putin had "actually taken a decision to
On the day of the crash, a meeting was convened of the Trilateral Contact Group (consisting of the
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Ukrainian national government,
and Russia). After they had held a video conference with representatives of insurgents affiliated with
the Donetsk People's Republic (who control the area where the aircraft crashed), the rebels
promised to "provide safe access and security guarantees" to "the national investigation
commission" by co-operating with Ukrainian authorities and OSCE monitors.[97] During the first two
days of investigation, the militants prevented the OSCE and other international observers from
freely working at the crash site. According to the Ukrainian government, the separatists were
destroying all evidence of the crime "with the help of Russia", including moving 38 bodies to
Donetsk.[98] Andre Purgin, a leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, declared later that "we will
guarantee the safety of international experts on the scene as soon as Kiev concludes a ceasefire
An international investigation team is examining why the aircraft crashed. In agreement with the
Ukrainian government, the Netherlands will lead the investigation.[100][101] The investigation team
consists of 24 investigators with members from Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United
States, the United Kingdom and Russia.[102] The black boxes will be examined by an international
team at a facility in the United Kingdom.[103] In addition to the international accident investigation,
the selection of the flight route will also be independently investigated by the Dutch Safety
Board.[104] The National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine (NBAAI) had requested
that the DSB participate in the international investigation; the DSB received formal notice of the
accident from the NBAAI on 18 July.[105]
A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts, comprising search and recovery personnel, forensics
experts, technical and medical experts is in Ukraine.[106] Australia sent a 45-member panel headed
by former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who had earlier supervised the MH 370 probe.[107]
The United Kingdom sent six investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and
the UK Foreign Office has sent extra consular staff to Ukraine.[108] A senior US administration
official reported to ABC News that FBI and NTSB officials were poised to head to Ukraine to advise
the investigation.[109]
On 18 July, it was reported that the black boxes had been recovered by separatists.[110] On the
same day, the head of Donetsk Regional State Administration, Kostiantyn Batozky, stated that both
black boxes had been found.[111] Rebels said later that two boxes were moved to Donetsk.[112]
According to a phone conversation intercepted by Ukrainian intelligence, the militants were given
the task of keeping all evidence, including black boxes, away from anyone else.[113]
On 21 July, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that he had been told by Alexander Borodai,
leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, that the black boxes would be handed over to Malaysian
authorities.[114][115] Later that day, the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder were
handed over to Malaysian officials in Donetsk by rebels. The Malaysians reported that both
recorders were "in good condition".[116] The black boxes are currently being examined at a facility
operated by the UK AAIB.[117] On 23 July it was reported that the CVR was damaged but there was
no evidence that it had been tampered with; it was also reported that valid data had been
On 24 July, the Dutch Safety Board announced that they had successfully downloaded data from the
flight data recorder and were proceeding to analyse the data. No evidence of manipulation of the
data was found.[119]
On 30 July, it was reported by a Ukrainian representative that pro-Russian rebels had mined
approaches to the crash site and pulled heavy artillery around, making further work by international
experts impossible [120]
A mobile Buk surface-to-air missile launcher, similar to that believed to have been used in the
The cause of the crash has not yet been determined by the official investigation, which is being
carried out by the Dutch Safety Board.[121] Both US and Ukrainian officials declared that a surface-
to-air missile strike is the most likely cause,[122] and if so, then the missile was fired from a mobile
Soviet-designed Buk missile system (known as SA-11 "Gadfly" to NATO) as this is the only surface-t-
-air missile system in the region capable of reaching the altitude of commercial air
traffic.[59][123][124][125][126][127] According to defence analyst Reed Foster (from Jane's
Information Group), the contour of the aluminium and the blistering of the paint around many of the
holes on the aircraft fragments indicate that small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel entered the
aircraft externally, a damage pattern indicative of an SA-11.[128] Concurring with that, ballistics
specialist Stephan Fruhling (of the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies
Centre) added that a large hole in one of the aircraft fragments was caused by a violent blast of
decompression from holes inflicted by hot shrapnel from an SA-11 proximity fuzed warhead.[129]
Speculation about cause and responsibility
On 19 July, Vitaly Nayda, the chief of the Counter Intelligence Department of the Security Service of
Ukraine (SBU), told a news conference, "We have compelling evidence that this terrorist act was
committed with the help of the Russian Federation. We know clearly that the crew of this system
were Russian citizens."[130][131][132] He cited what he said were recorded conversations in which
separatists expressed satisfaction to Russian intelligence agents that they brought down an
aeroplane.[133][134] The separatists denied that the recorded talks were related to the crash of
MH17 and blamed the Ukrainian government for shooting it down.[135][136][137] According to
Nayda, a Buk launcher used in the shoot-down was moved back into Russia the night after the
attack.[9] On 25 July, the SBU released another recording, which they said was of pro-Russia-
-separatist leader Igor Bezler being told of an approaching aircraft two minutes before MH17 was
shot down.[138][139][140]
On 21 July, the Russian Defence Ministry held a press conference and said that just before the crash,
a Ukrainian Su-25 ground-attack aircraft approached to within 3 to 5 kilometres (1.9 to 3.1Â mi) of
the Malaysian airliner. The Ministry also stated that satellite photographs showed that the Ukrainian
army moved a Buk SAM battery to the area close to the territory controlled by the rebels on the
morning of 17 July, hours before the crash. They said the installation was then moved away again by
18 July.[141][142]
US officials said that satellite data from infrared sensors detected the explosion of flight MH17.[143]
American intelligence agencies said that analysis of the launch plume and trajectory suggested the
missile was fired from an area between Torez and Snizhne.[59] Satellites are also likely to have
registered the heat signature of the launch of the missile and the activation of the missile launcher
tracking radar.[124]The Telegraph, a British paper, said: "The Telegraph's own inquiries suggest the
missile - an SA-11 from a Buk mobile rocket launcher - was possibly fired from a cornfield about 12
miles to the south of the epicentre of the crash site."[125] A number of other media outlets including
The Guardian, The Washington Post and the Sydney Morning Herald have reported that it is
believed to have downed by a rebel-fired missile.[6][144][145]
An unnamed US intelligence official stated that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 may have been shot
down in error by pro-Russian separatists, citing evidence that separatists launched a SA-11 surface-
to-air missile that blew up the Malaysian airliner. The official dismissed Russian allegations that
MH17 took evasive action and said the claim that the Ukrainian government had shot down MH17
was not realistic, as Kiev had no such missile systems in that area, which was rebel-controlled.[126]
US intelligence officials also said that Russia was attempting to disguise the flow of weaponry it was
delivering to the rebels by sending older weapons that matched Ukraine's inventory.[15] The British
Foreign Office stated that it was "highly likely" that the missile was fired from area controlled by
Russian-backed separatists.[146]
Journalists from the Associated Press in Snizhne, Ukraine reported seeing a Buk M-1 enter the town
operated by a man "with unfamiliar fatigues and a distinctive Russian accent" escorted by two
civilian vehicles, which then moved off in the direction where the shootdown later occurred.
According to Ukrainian counterterrorism chief, Vitaly Nayda, after downing the plane under
separatist direction, the launcher's Russian crew quickly moved it back across the border into
In an interview with Reuters on 23 July 2014, Alexander Khodakovsky, the commander of the pro-
Russian Vostok Battalion, acknowledged that the separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type
the US has said was used to shoot down the aircraft, and admitted that it could have been sent back
to Russia to remove proof of its presence;[148][149][150] he later retracted his comments, saying
that he had been misquoted and stating that rebels never had a Buk.[151]
On 28 July, Ukrainian security official Andriy Lysenko announced, at a press conference, that black
box recorder analysis had revealed that the aircraft had been brought down by shrapnel that caused
"massive explosive decompression." Dutch officials were reported to be "stunned" by what they saw
as a "premature announcement" and said that they did not know how Ukrainian officials had
obtained the data.[152]
Recovery of casualties
First arrival of bodies at Eindhoven Airport
Convoy of 40 hearses heading to Hilversum, while other traffic stopped
A Ukraine Foreign Ministry representative said that the bodies found at the crash site would be
taken to Kharkiv for identification, a city 270 kilometres (170Â mi) to the north. By the day after the
crash, 181 of the 298 bodies had been found.[153]
On 19 July, Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine,
said that the insurgents removed 38 bodies from the crash site to extract parts of the missile used to
shoot down the aircraft, and destroy the evidence.[154]
Al Jazeera reported that the separatist Minister of Health had initially confirmed 38 bodies had been
moved to the Donetsk mortuary, which the minister subsequently recanted.[155] Bodies were
observed being moved, placed in body bags, and loaded on to lorries.[156][157][158]
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte complained about the lack of respect shown to the personal
belongings of the dead which were reportedly looted. He initially announced his disgust about the
handling of the bodies of the casualties that were reportedly being "dragged around" and "thrown",
but later stated the bodies were handled with more care than originally estimated.[159][160] On 20
July, Ukrainian emergency workers, observed by armed separatists, began loading the remains of
the passengers of MH17 into refrigerated railway wagons for transport and identification.[161]
On 21 July, pro-Russian rebels allowed Dutch investigators to examine the bodies. By this time, 272
bodies had been recovered.[162] Remains left Torez on a train on the evening of 21 July, en route to
Kharkiv to be flown to the Netherlands for identification.[114][163] On the same day, Malaysian
Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the Malaysian government had reached a tentative
agreement to retrieve the remains of the Malaysians who died in the crash, following any necessary
forensic work.[115][164]
It was reported on 21 July that with 282 bodies and 87 body fragments found, there were still 16
bodies missing.[165] An agreement has been reached that the Netherlands will co-ordinate the
identification effort. All remains will be moved to the Netherlands with Dutch air force C-130 and
Australian C-17 transport planes.[166][167] A train carrying the bodies arrived at the Malyshev
Factory, Kharkiv on 22 July,[168] and the first remains were flown to Eindhoven on 23 July.[169] The
investigation will be conducted at the Netherlands Army medical regiment training facility in
Hilversum by an international team.[170] The UK Metropolitan Police is liaising with international
partners to send specialist officers to assist with the recovery, identification and repatriation of
those who died.[108]
Dutch authorities stated on 23 July that they found 200 bodies on the train when it arrived at
Kharkhiv, leaving almost 100 unaccounted for.[171] Two Dutch and one Australian aircraft flew the
first bodies out of Kharviv later that day. The aircraft landed at Eindhoven Airport just before 16:00
local time.[172] The day afterwards another 74 bodies arrived.[173]
On 1 August it was revealed that a search and recovery mission, including about 80 forensic police
specialists from Holland and Australia, and led by Colonel Cornelis Kuijs of the Royal Marechaussee,
would use drones, sniffer dogs, divers and satellite mapping to search for missing body parts at the
crash site.[174] Australian officials believe that as many as 80 bodies are still at the site.[175]
Main article: International reactions to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shootdown
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the crash the result of an act of terrorism, and also
called for an international investigation into the crash.[176]
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in an address to parliament that the aircraft was downed
by a missile which seems to have been launched by Russian-backed rebels.[177]Julie Bishop, the
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, said in an interview on an Australian television programme
that it was "extraordinary" that her Russian counterparts have refused to speak to her over the
shoot-down after the Russian ambassador was summoned to meet her.[177] The Russian
government was critical of Abbott's response; Abbott was one of the first world leaders to publicly
connect the shoot-down to Russia.[178] Abbott later criticized the recovery efforts as "shambolic",
and "more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation"; Bishop publicly warned separatist
forces against treating the victims' bodies as hostages.[179]
Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said that the foreign ministry would be
working with the Russian and Ukrainian governments with regard to the incident.[180] Prime
Minister Najib Razak later said that Malaysia was unable to verify the cause of the crash and
demanded that the perpetrators be punished.[181] The Malaysian government flew the national flag
at half-mast from 18 July until 21 July.[182]
Flag at half mast in front of city hall of Hoorn during the national day of mourning
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and King Willem-Alexander voiced their shock at the
crash,[183][184] and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans joined the Dutch investigation
team sent to Ukraine.[185] Dutch government buildings flew the flag at half-mast on 18 July.[186]
Music was cancelled and festivities were toned down on the last day of the Nijmegen Marches.[187]
On 21 July the Netherlands opened a war crimes investigation on the downing of the aircraft. The
country's prosecutor is in Ukraine for that purpose. Rutte threatened tough action against Russia if
it did not help in the investigation.[188]
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine bears responsibility for the incident which
happened in its territory, which he said would not have happened if hostilities had not resumed in
the south-east of Ukraine.[5][189][190] He also said that it was important to refrain from making
any hasty conclusions and politicized statements before the end of the investigation. He said that
Russia would help an international inquiry led by the ICAO.[191] On 19 July the Russian Ministry of
Defence announced "10 questions to the Ukrainian government" regarding the incident.[192][193]
By end of July a Duma deputy Ilya Ponomarev said in an interview for German Die Welt that there's
no doubts that it the was separatists who shot down the plane by mistake and "Putin now understood
that he has passed the weapon to wrong people".[194]
United States President Barack Obama said the US would help determine the cause.[5] In a press
statement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine to
allow for a full investigation.[195] Vice-President Joe Biden said the plane appeared to have been
deliberately shot down, and offered US assistance for the investigation into the
crash.[190]USÂ Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power called on Russia to end the
war.[196] The British government requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security
Council and called an emergency Cobra meeting after the incident.[197][198] Commander of the
Donbass People's Militia Igor Girkin was quoted as stating that "a significant number of the bodies
weren't fresh". He followed up by saying "Ukrainian authorities are capable of any baseness"; and
also said that blood serum and medications were found in the plane's remnants in large
The European Union's representatives José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy released a
joint statement calling for immediate and thorough investigation.[201] The EU officials also said that
Ukraine has first claim on the plane's black boxes.[202]
The International Civil Aviation Organization declared that it was sending its team of experts to
assist the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine (NBAAI), under Article 26 of the
Convention on International Civil Aviation.[203] The United Nations Security Council adopted
Resolution 2166 on 21 July, regarding an official crime investigation into the incident.
A makeshift memorial at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, for victims of flight MH17
Since the crash, memorial services have been held in Australia[204] and in the Netherlands, which
declared 23 July, the day when the first victims arrived in the country, a national day of mourning,
the first since 1962.[205][206] The opening ceremony of the AIDS 2014 conference, of which several
delegates were on board flight MH17, began with a tribute to the victims of the crash.[207] In
Malaysia, makeshift memorials were created in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.[208]
Russian media coverage
See also: Media portrayal of the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine
Media coverage of the crash in Russia has differed from coverage by other worldwide media.[209]
Right after the incident, Russian media announced that a Ukrainian An-26 plane was downed by the
rebels, however no other wreckage than that of the MH17 has ever been reported to have crashed in
the rebel-controlled territory on that date. On 22 July an unnamed US official said that the Russian
government was manipulating the media towards Russia's version of the story.[15]
The Russian government-funded[210] outlet RT initially said that the plane was shot down by
Ukraine in a failed attempt to assassinate Vladimir Putin, in a plot which was organized by Ukraine's
"Western backers".[211] Other theories propagated by Russian media include: that the Ukrainians
shot down the plane in a botched attempt at mass murder of Russian citizens; that Ukrainian air
traffic controllers purposefully redirected the flight to fly over the war zone; and that the Ukrainian
government organized the attack on the plane to bring infamy upon the pro-Russian rebels.[212]
According to the poll conducted by the Levada Center between 18 and 24 July, 80% of Russians
surveyed believed that the crash of MH17 was the responsibility of the Ukrainian military.[213]
Sara Firth, a correspondent with RT, for which she had worked over the previous five years,
resigned in protest at the channel's coverage which she described as "shockingly obvious
misinformation".[214] RT issued a statement after Firth went public with reasons for her
resignation, saying "we were not surprised by Sara Firth's decision to leave RT after five years as a
Moscow and London correspondent, as she has recently informed us that she was likely to take an
offer from another firm".[215]
On 25 July, the liberal Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a bold headline in
Dutch that read "Vergeef ons, Nederland" ("Forgive Us, Netherlands").[216][217]
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Crash site
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Location of departure, crash site and destination
Amsterdam Airport
Crash site
Location of departure and crash site
Presumed route ending in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels[218][k]
See also
List of aircraft accidents and incidents resulting in at least 50 fatalities
^ MH is the IATA designator and MAS is the ICAO designator. The flight is also marketed as KLM
Flight 4103 (KL4103) through a codeshare agreement.[1]
^ The aircraft is a Boeing 777-200ER (for Extended Range) model; Boeing assigns a unique
customer code for each company that buys one of its aircraft, which is applied as an infix in the
model number at the time the aircraft is built. The code for Malaysia Airlines is "H6", hence "777-
^ Dual Canadian-Romanian citizen boarding with Canadian passport.
^ Including:
1 dual German-Dutch citizen
^ Including 15 crew
^ Including:
1 dual Dutch-Belgian citizen;
1 dual Dutch-Israeli citizen;
1 dual Dutch-Italian citizen;
1 dual Dutch-American citizen
^ Including:
1 dual British-South African citizen; and
1 dual British-New Zealand citizen.
^ The Wall Street Journal cited a report from FlightAware which stated that 17 July was the first day
in July that Flight 17 flew so far north over eastern Ukraine; on the previous 16 days it "appeared to
fly just south of the restricted airspace, according to FlightAware".[65] FlightAware has no coverage
over Ukraine;[72] and all of the track reported for MH17 on the previous day's flight beyond
51°10?23?N 24°23?55?E / 51.17306°N 24.39861°E is based on estimates.[73] Another
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External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Wikinews has related news: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, official updates regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
MH17 Passenger Manifest at Malaysia Airlines (official passenger list)
Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 'shot down' in Ukraine - as it happened, The Guardian
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 playback on Flightradar24
MH17 17 July 2014 on FlightAware
Images and videos from Daily News
Images from RT
MH17 Boeing 777 Plane Crash, Ukraine (Jul 2014) - an album on Flickr
Maps of the crash - New York Times
Dutch Safety Board
Wall Street Journal map of a tragedy:how MH17 came Apart over Ukraine
Retrieved from

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