Ukraine claims Malaysian airliner shot down over air space–(Update)

Update, 1:10pm PDT: Jon Ostrower of The Wall Street Journal Tweeted that US intelligence officials confirm a SAM was fired at MH17; details to follow at The WSJ.

Photo via CNN, apparently showing MH17 falling from the sky.

Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 (flight MH17) has crashed in Ukraine and government officials claim the airplane was shot down. As yet, this appears to be unconfirmed.

We’ve already been asked for our reaction. Here’s our statement.

“It’s hard to have a reaction within minutes of the first reporting. Reports claim the airplane was shot down, but has this been confirmed? Reports say the airplane was at 10,000 meters (roughly 33,000 ft), and cruising altitude, in-flight break-ups due to something wrong with the airplane are highly, highly unlikely, certainly suggesting an “outside force” may have been involved. But until a shoot-down is confirmed, the only reaction can and should be prayers for the victims.”

Here’s what will happen next, aside from the emergency response to the crash site:

  • Given the allegation of a shoot-down, efforts will be made to confirm this as soon as possible.
  • Flights may be rerouted as a precautionary measure until the shoot-down is affirmed or discounted.
  • Investigators will consider (in no particular order):
  1. Shoot down;
  2. Sabotage;
  3. In-flight break up due to structural issues;
  4. Mechanical issues;
  5. Weather conditions; and
  6. Crew condition, among other things.

These are, except for #1, standard areas of investigation.


77 Comments on “Ukraine claims Malaysian airliner shot down over air space–(Update)

  1. My thoughts and prayers with all those who have died on the flight. R.I.P. 🙁

  2. Somebody ought to stamp out those vermin and I’m not counting on Russia! RIP to those aboard.

    • And which vermin do we stamp out? Indicators still only.

      And if it proves to be the insurgents do we go onto stamp out the Russians who ;supplied them the equipment as well?

    • Four things the world needs to know : 1-There were seven important Chinese officials on the flight, 2-the Russians fired their secret “TOPOL” rocket at the aircraft (rocket speed over 3,000 MPH at 10 feet above surface). 3- the Chinese were responding with their secret weapon at the rocket (L.A.W.S. – LASER ADVANCED WEAPONS SYSTEM. 4- the G.F.F. intercepted the aircraft with a rift in the space/time continuum. The airplane and all 230 passengers. were placed down on the beach of a large island in an alternative dimension, in another timeline. All passengers are alive and well but not expected to be allowed to return. This is why there was no debris on the ocean.
      It may be hard to understand but it averted a global war. The world should start by investigating the “TOPOL” and “LAWS” weapons of the two countries. These “secret” weapons will prove the first two points are true.
      As for the G.F.F. and alternative dimensions will take longer to explain. So you will know, there are ten alternative dimensions that I can vouch for. Truth is stranger than fiction.

  3. 1) Nothing coming from the UKRAINE without clear physical evidence is credible

    2) The fact that an unprovoked break-up at 10,000 m is improbable, this does mean the aircraft was shot down. An inside explosion would do so.

    And b the way: the aircraft had nor enough fuel to reach this position!!

    • “And b the way: the aircraft had nor enough fuel to reach this position!!”

      – In case you didn’t notice, this is not MH370.

      This is MH17, departed AMS en route to KUL. Flies over Ukraine airspace.

    • otontisch,

      Is the “here and now” really the time for this type of speculation?

    • Perhaps we are hearing from a member of the rebel contingent? The post does sound a little like something from Pravda.

      • Simply confusing MH 371 with MH 17 for starters- that much is credible. the rest simply sounds like a Seattle Stoner 😉

  4. An awful thing. So sad.

    Apart from questions of who may or may not have released the missile, why was this flight passing through a warzone where anti-aircraft missiles had already been fired? Are other airlines flying this route too?

    • Apparently they are.

      “Passengers are still flying over Ukraine. There is no closing of the air space,” said Tytgat Luc, director at Euro Control, the organization that manages air traffic in Europe.

      “The air space is still open for commercial airlines,” Luc said, adding that the news has had no effect on “normal routine.”

      Since the crash, Lufthansa, Air France and a number of other airlines have decided to stay out of Eastern Ukraine. The FAA told US airlines to avoid Ukraine however,

      Malaysia Airlines was particularly unlucky.

      • FAA warning was only for Crimea, Black Sea and Sea of Azov. MH017 went down in Donetsk, substantially north of the FAA-indicated area.

    • As I noted in a past post in regards to the Vincennes shootdown of the Iranian civilian aircraft, you do not fly over a war zone. In this case if true thee is zero rational but that does not stop it from happening.

      Reports are that at least the insurrectionists had bragged of having Buka missile system and that is fully capable of shooting down an airliner at that altidue (and brags it was their airspace and flyer be ware) .

      Unknown if the Ukrainian forces have that system (likely) but also as the insurgents had zero aircraft, they would not have been deployed in that area.

      It will come out, per MH370, you have to be very skeptical though open minded this was any kind of coincidence. And while I am very sorry for the dead and their families, keep in mind that many innocent Palestinians are dying every day, most who would like nothing better to do than live their lives. Victims all of fanatics it would appear.

      • Lets not get into the Israeli-Palestinian thing. There both sides are shooting at each other.
        Last I checked Malaysia was not at war with the Ukrainian Rebels.

        • I am simply saying there are a lot of tragedies going on in the world and I see no note to the affect that “our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and families” in any of those.

          Its another long string of tragedies that go on all the time. Jaded, maybe, more honest, I think so. I am as “saddened” for the dead Palestinians and their families as I am for the people on MH17 (and any number of other tragedies around the world)

  5. FWIW A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane with 295 aboard was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine near the Russian border a day after a Ukrainian military jet was downed, Fox News has confirmed.

    The Boeing 777 was shot down at cruising altitude, according to Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister. He said it was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew people, all of whom were killed. A Reuters correspondent near the scene reported seeing burning wreckage and bodies strewn across a nine-mile debris field. A Ukrainian Emergency official told the news agency body parts and at least 100 bodies were seen in the area.

    The incident touched off immediate finger-pointing between Russian separatists and the Ukrainian government. Eastern Ukraine separatist leader Alexander Borodai told Reuters that Ukrainian military forces shot the jet down, but Kiev denied involvement.

  6. The Russian separatists have plenty of SA-11 (gadfly) and SA-17 (grizzle) SAMs available to them. In the past month they have shot down two Ukraine Air Force cargo airplanes, including an Il-76 with these missiles. The SA-11 and SA-17 system is fully capable of reaching an airplane at FL-330, and much higher if needed.
    One SA-11/-17 battery consists of a command and control vehicle, at least one modern radar vehicle, capable of reading civilian transponders, and 4-6 TELs or missile firing vehicles (each with 4-6 missiles depending on type and model). All vehicles are tracked or wheeled vehicles, meaning these missiles fit several different launch and control systems.
    The SA-11 (Russian designation 9M38, 9M38M1) and SA-17 (Russian designation 9M38M2, 9M317) missiles have a 70 kg (about 154 lbs.) warhead of blast fragmentation material, more than enough to rip through wings, control surfaces, and engines of any airplane. These missiles have a slant range engagement range of 20-32 miles (out to about 53 km) and a minimum engagement range of 2 miles (about 3.5 km).
    No, manpads were not used to take down MH-17. The airplane was far outside its range, and with a warhead of about .6 kg (about 1 lbs.) would not be capable of taking out the large B-777, although it could damage it.
    BTW, Russia has offered to help Ukraine in the recovery and investigation in this incident. The Ukraine should politely decline the offer, but ask for NATO troops to provide security during the recovery and investigation. After all, this is square in the middle of a war zone. The wreckage is spread over a 9 mile long area in or near the town of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, Ukraine.

    • grreat analysis – but how long would it take to train someone(s) to track and launch- ??

      • It should not take very long to train crews in these systems, perhaps a few weeks. The war has been going on at least since January, so in 6 months you can have several crews trained and ‘combat ready’.

        • But freshly-trained (and quite possibly somewhat less than professional) crews might not be up to the task of correctly identifying an aircraft flying at 10,000m altitude. Or would they?

        • The russians do not need to train their servants, they can send their already trained personnel there.

    • Apparently if it was a BUC missile it could be either Ukrane or Russ. But if a newer S-3 ?? then those are ONLY russ. The evidence will be in the skins and parts as to what missile was used. Yet everyone seems to be kept out by ?? Ukrane ??

  7. ” Speaking in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden said the plane had “been shot down, not an accident. Blown out of the sky.”

    • Joe has been known spout off with no thought, he may be right we don’t know it yet.

      • Suggest you check WSJ news and others – pentagon and intelligence depts say it was shot down.
        Malaysia Airlines Plane Was Hit by Surface-to-Air Missile, U.S. Officials Say
        Airline Confirms It Lost Contact With MH17 Over Eastern Ukraine

        Paul Sonne And
        Alan Cullison
        Updated July 17, 2014 4:43 p.m. ET
        A Malaysia Airlines 3786.KU -2.17% plane carrying 295 passengers and crew came down Thursday while flying over the battle-torn east Ukraine region of Donetsk, after it was hit by what U.S. intelligence agencies said was a surface-to-air missile.

        The intelligence sources didn’t say whether the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces or pro-Russia separatist rebels.

        Goes on


        A surface-to-air missile struck a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people that went down today in Ukraine near the Russian border, a U.S. official told ABC News.

        The official said U.S. intelligence and analysis of the situation determined that it was a single missile that struck the Boeing 777-200 aircraft while at cruising altitude. It is unclear whether the missile was fired from inside Ukrainian or Russian territory and who fired it, the official added.

        Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur with 280 passengers and 15 crew members.


        • Not denying that, just a comment that I put little credence in anything Joe flips out until other confirmation comes around. Fast moving story and missed the update.

          That is not political, he has a proven record of not engaging his brain before opening his mouth.

  8. The russian backed and armed fighters had already admitted shooting down the plane in their social media. Only they thought they downed An-26, only to discover later it was 777. BUK M2 is claimed to have been used, recently captured in youtube videos in the area. SBU (Ukraine Security Service) put a video on youtube, where the various commanders discuss the downing and which blockpost actually launched the missile, then they realise they shot down a civilian airliner.
    There must now be a very strong response from Europe and the US. This theatre on the russian side that they have nothing to do with this conflict had been going on for far too long.

    • They would have known the altitude the “target” was flying at. An An-26 can only fly to about FL-240, well below what Mh17 was at. Then there is the issue of the speed difference between a twin engine turboprop and a modern airliner.
      This Buk crew knew what they were shooting at. BTW, Buk is the launch system/vehicles, the missiles are either SA-11s, or SA-17. Apparently only one missile was fired.
      The response from the US will be the same ‘wet noodle’ response we have given throughout this war.

      • Some reports from Ukrainian govt sources that the separatists had a shot at an Ukrainian military IL-86, but missed. Some guessing going on that the same missile ended up hitting the B777. That would explain them going for something at that height.

        • Ukrainian military does not have Il-86, neither were there any of their planes in the area. Actually what the russian propaganda put out is that this was an attempt to shoot down russian gov Il-96. Evidence? The livery looks similar!

      • When we are talking about a bunch of (likely) out of control nut cases, there is no reason to think they wold think twice about anything other than their preconceive notions of what they wanted it to be. It does not matter, its been shot down.

        And why should the US get involved in this mess? You want to start a war with Russia? Be my guest but leave me out of it thank you, I have seen too much loss of life and massive cost to the US treasury in our last two wars to think this has anything to do with our national interests.

        • Huh? Who said anything about a war? There must be a strong economic and diplomatic response. EU had buried its head in the sand for far too long.

      • You give them too much credit in what they could have known…

  9. and IMO being able to track and hit a transponder should be a no brainer- if you dont bother with the code . .

  10. It seems all civilian flights in the area had been prohibited at level 32 and below – plane was flying at 33. Is this risky behaviour justified to minimise fuel usage or normal today?

    • Plane stupid, but then for all the falarah, they have system that risks passengers each and every day (AF447, Asianaa etc) . They just cover it up with statistics that do not reveal how many close calls there are each day.

  11. The picture does not look like 777. I think it maybe An-24/26 shot down earlier.
    RIP to all the passengers, horrendous event….

  12. FWIW

    B: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.

    VG: How many minutes ago?

    IB: About 30 minutes ago.

    SBU comment: After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.

    “Major”: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

    “Grek”: Yes, Major.

    “Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.

    “Greek”: Well, what do you have there?

    “Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.

    “Greek”: Are many people there?

    “Major”: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).

    “Greek”: What kind of aircraft?

    “Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

    “Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?

    “Major”: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

    “Greek”: Are there documents?

    “Major”: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.

    Militant: 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-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?

    Nikolay Kozitsin: That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on.

    • In my opinion these Social media posts are enough evidence. Those separatists have unmasked themselfes as those responsible for this catastrophy.

      It is highly unliklely for Prochenkos troops to have any stake in this. The separatists don’t have any aircraft. So why should ukrainia start shooting airplanes from the sky? Direct involvement of russian troops is unlikely too. Those units would be highly trained and much too professional to make such gross mistake. And Putin has no incentive to unneccessary enrage the public opinion in the West much further by shooting at civilian airplanes.

  13. The extend of the human damage is slowly sinking in in the Netherlands..

  14. Anyone willing to know could have been aware that the separatis had gained possession of those BUK rockets. They boosted about it on the net and it has been reported.

    What I don’t understand and really makes me angry is – why the hell have some airlines continued to fly above that area at all? Other airlines had enough sense to chang their routes well before the incident. Why have others, including 1st tier arlines like Lufthansa – been so careless ?

    • Money. Lip service to “our passengers safety is our highest priority”

      Its another manifestation of AF447, Asiana etc that they know they have problems but refused to address. Yes the authorities are asleep at the wheel, but they do not have the directly responsibly for the passengers and their crews and can move fast if they so desire.

      In all these cases they could have worked to make the changes both within their organization (I know one of which has) and the system and I know of only the one exception (its up to them to make that public if they choose to).

  15. Putin is playing the price of using low IQ patriots to gain regional influence.

  16. Putin was a KGB clerk with delusions of grandeur who has characteristics in common with a painter from Austria

  17. Interesting comments and links – decide for yourself if credible

    Did MH17 pilot divert INTO the danger zone? Aviation expert claims captain made last-minute change of course over Ukraine because he ‘felt uncomfortable’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  18. and an interesting video on how to shoot a BUk- M1

    especially if not concerned about IFF, ECM, and other trivia a bit more than point and shoot, but since the system has been around for decades, perhaps even I could do it with a weeks worth of training ??
    Using top boom as a helper ??

  19. Interesting re ” russia” and certain tracking of wikipedia . . .

    Remember @CongressEdits, the tweetbot that alerts whenever a Wikipedia article is edited from a government IP address? There’s a Russian version now, and it just uncovered some pretty drastic edits to a Wikipedia article that mentions Flight MH17, originating from a Russian government IP address.

    As The Telegraph reports, @RuGovEdits tweeted that a computer user from within the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VHTRK) edited the Russian-language version of the Wikipedia entry about the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine yesterday.

    The original version of the Wikipedia article listing civil aviation accidents stated that MH17 had been shot down “by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation.” Emphasis added.

  20. Full on spin control including “we will cooperate”, delaying, equivocating, while burying the evidence as deeply as possible. It won’t work but they will keep it up.

    They are caught out and no hiding but they will try and look more stupid as well as criminal.

  21. Pingback: Ukraine News – 17 Jul 2014 - Confero  Aviation

      • Suggest those interested go to pprune rumours-news —- donesk page 34( approx) as posts get deleted and pages change and approx post number 667 and look at pics and analysis there. posted by oleole Its about as good as one can find at this time

        summary is at least one missile approached from behind lower port side and detonated somewhat in front of left wing and neat the front left side cockpit.

        still unresolved ( i think ) is if it was an air to air ( doubtful ) or a SAM

        In my non expert armchair opinon the pilots never knew what hit them

        I’m not posting the link since pprune frowns on that.

        • Close range A/A missiles have small warheads, about 15 lbs. Longer ranged A/A missiles have bigger warheads, up to about 75-80 lbs.
          But the Russians are saying a Ukrainian Su-27 was in the same area as the B-777, thus two smaller A/A missiles, to double the chance of doing some damage to the target.
          In 1983 the Russians fired two R-98 A/A missiles at the KE-007 B-747-200. The R-98 had a warhead of 88 lbs. of fragmentation, and yet the B-747 flew on for some time after the double hit by the frags.
          But we now know that two SA-11s were fired at the B-777. No commercial aircraft can fly through the frag blast pattern of more than 300 lbs. of explosives and survive. If Don is correct and the missile(s) approached from behind the airplane, that is an almost sure kill for radar guided SAMs for airplanes without ECM or ECCM and are not maneuvering.
          Yes, as Don said, the MH-17 pilots never knew what hit them. It is important that all 298 bodies are recovered and sent to the EU for examination. If the left side of the B-777 got peppered, so did anyone sitting on that side, from the pilot to the passengers, and their bodies will contain some shrapnel fragments. Those fragments will tell us exactly what kind of missile, down to the sub-version.

          • Uhh…” But we now know that two SA-11s were fired at the B-777″

            I hadn’t seen or heard that – AFIK it was/is still speculation – and there is some doubt abut the Su-27 in the area as being pure russian BS cubed with phony ‘ tracks” displayed as ” powerpoInt” type presentations

            It is also possible that IR tracking was used and missed the engine and apparantly the SAM system used has that option. After all, the SAMS are designed to take out a fighter type at near supersonic speeds so a commerical jet would be by comparison a ‘ training’ target as in a b-52…

  22. FWIW this image seems to match a few points as to missile and direction ( to left of MH17)

    And on another forum, the photos of an missile truck missing one missile after much discussion seem to place the location of the truck to the North – possilby NE of the crash site. Since the plane was headed generally ESE, that would seem to match

    see post # 116 for map ( assumes north is at top of map )

    However the place called TOREZ is where the phot of the launcher is taken- and some other maps may be upside down , etc which would indicate the launcher when fired was to the south ?

    AS usual – I make no claims- but merely try to point to ‘ reasonable’ sources.

    That it was a missile seems to be firmly established..
    Some of the russian media want to claim MH17 was actually MH370, etc- That media makes our tinfoil hat group look like amatures as to conspiracy !!

  23. again FWIW from bbc
    NOTE IT ***SEEMS** there are now claims of other Aircraft ( non MH17 -777) parts being salted into the crash site . Hopefully some BA types ( not current employees ) can spot them.. the photos at
    IMHO definitely establish that most if not ALL are BA parts with station and or serial numbers which can be easily checked.

    But they were taken relatively early after the crash..

    With all the media press political hoopala about the ‘ locals’ disturbing bodies, taking evidence, eetc, I have been looking for a different view of things relative to those locals who were there first. Despite the propaganda from both- three four sides and the media BS headlines that the locals were barely out of the stone age the videos/translations/ and evidence in this link paint a different picture. Its sad that the mainstream media does not edit out parts of the graphic pics or blur them and show the people and their comments. I could only watch part of it – but I really believe it is the type of info/ interviews that deserve more attention. For the most part the video and words are reasonably well done and the focus is on the locals and what they saw and found. Some of the images were blurred- and some not .

    AGAIN – if graphic images bother you- go elsewhere and do not follow this link

  25. Interesting version of why and how MH-17 shot down. Whether or not to believe it is your call

    Terrorists and militants planned cynical terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft”

    7 August 2014

    During the investigation of Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 downing the law enforcement and intelligence bodies established that terrorists and militants have cynically planned the terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft, AFL-2074 Moscow-Larnaca, which was flying over the territory of Ukraine at that moment. Hereof informed the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Mr. Valentyn Nalyvaichenko during the briefing today.
    He underlined – the crime was planned as a ground for bringing of Russian troops into Ukraine, that is – CASUS BELLI for the Russian military invasion.
    According to the official Ukrainian data, June 17, 2014, at the mentioned time two regular international flights were operating over the territory of Ukraine following the filed requests for aircraft clearance – MAS17 plane of the Malaysia Airlines and AFL-2074 one of Aeroflot.
    The routes of the mentioned international flights were approaching the sky over Donetsk. At 16:09 in the area of Novomykolaivka town the routes of the mentioned flights crossed. It is worth noting that the flight specifications of the aircrafts were almost identical – the Malaysian aircraft flew at a height of 10,100 m at a speed 909 km/h, while the Russian one – at a height of 10,600 m at a speed 768 km/h.

    Goes on . . . believe it or not !!

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