First-aid workers gather at the site of the crash of MH17 near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. - AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET
PETALING JAYA: New allegations that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by militants have surfaced, with a recording of an alleged conversation between Russian military intelligence officers and members of terrorist groups serving as “proof”, a Ukraine English daily reports.
In the conversation allegedly intercepted and released by the Ukraine’s security agency (SBU), a militant notes the plane is “100% civilian”.
The “conversation” translated by Ukraine'sThe Kyiv Post has one Igor Bezler – a commander of the self-styled separatist Donetsk People's Republic – conversing with someone believed to be a colonel with the Russian Armed Forces, Vasili Geranin.
Bezler says, “We have just shot down a plane,” and Vasili responds “Pilots, where are the pilots?”
Later two militants are heard discussing the attack, with one saying the aircraft “fell apart in the air”.
“We have found the first fatality,” he says later, “a civilian.
“In short, it was a 100% passenger aircraft.”
He notes the debris fell “right into the yards of homes”, and says there was nothing left except bodies, seats, civilian items like “medical stuff, towels, toilet paper”.
The militant later says, “Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. “It’s a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.
“They say on TV it’s an AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?
A man alleged to be a militant commander responds, “That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be flying. There is a war going on.”
More on MH17