Barack Obama test, buk missile, featured, malaysian airliner shot down over ukraine, News, Politics, President Obama, pro-russian separatists, russian president putin, u.s. sanctions against russia, World -

Malaysia Airlines Plane With 295 People Aboard Shot Down Over Ukraine; Officials Blame Rebels

Barack Obama test, buk missile, featured, malaysian airliner shot down over ukraine, News, Politics, President Obama, pro-russian separatists, russian president putin, u.s. sanctions against russia, World -

Malaysia Airlines Plane With 295 People Aboard Shot Down Over Ukraine; Officials Blame Rebels

Boeing plane similar to Malaysian airliner
Boeing plane similar to Malaysian airliner

As the world reacts to the shocking report that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down by a missile over Ukraine near the Russian border, the White House confirmed that President Barack Obama spoke by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is deeply involved in Ukraine’s civil strife.

All 280 passengers and 15 crew members appear to be dead.

While the circumstances leading to the plane falling from the sky haven’t yet been confirmed, Anton Geraschenko, the Ukraine Interior Ministry adviser, posted on Facebook that a Buk antiaircraft missile system shot down the plane over the village of Torez, about 25 miles east of the city of Donetsk and within territory held by pro-Russian separatist rebels.

Geraschenko blamed the rebels for the atrocious act.

But spokesmen for the rebels say they didn’t have anything to do with it, instead blaming the Ukrainian government forces. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government denies responsibility.
“We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement. “We are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible.”
Obama ironically was speaking today with Putin because of Putin’s displeasure with the new, tougher sanctions against Russia that the U.S. imposed Wednesday because of Russia’s support of the separatists battling government forces in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions target major banks and energy companies, a significant section of the Russian defense industry, and individuals the U.S. claims were responsible for the continuing support of the separatists.
“We have repeatedly made clear that Russia must halt the flow of fighters and weapons across the border,” Obama said in announcing the sanctions. “We have to see concrete actions and not just words.”

On Facebook, Geraschenko appeared to present his proof of the rebels’ involvement in the plane going down, saying “local patriots” reported the movement of the Buk missile system Thursday morning from Torez in the direction of Sneznoye. Geraschenko said the Malaysian plane was flying at 10,000 meters (33,000 feet) en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam

According to Geraschenko, this missile system had been “generously provided” to the rebels by Putin.

“There is no limit to the cynicism of Putin and his terrorists!” he said. “Europe, Canada, the USA, the civilized world — open your eyes! Help us with everything you can!”

Geraschenko claimed there was a video from the site showing “some jerks were shouting: Look, how wonderful it is burning! Beautiful!”

But denials were ricocheting across the region.

“The plane was shot down by the Ukrainian side,” said Serhiy Kavtaradze, a member of the rebels’ security council, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. “We simply do not have such air defense systems.”

He claimed the rebels’ shoulder-launched antimissile weapons “have a firing range of only 3,000 to 4,000 meters” and that passenger jets fly at a much higher altitude.

Kavtaradze also expressed condolences to the victims’ families on behalf of separatist leaders.

Another separatist leader, Andrei Purgin, told The Associated Press that he was certain that Ukrainian troops had shot the plane down. He said he did not know whether rebel forces owned Buk missile launchers — but said even if they did, they didn’t have anyone who knew how to operate it.

A report by journalists from the AP said they had been eyewitnesses to the presence of a launcher similar to the Buk missile system earlier Thursday near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, which is held by the rebels.

This has been a horrific year for Malaysia Airlines, which in March saw the disappearance of Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. While authorities have said it was diverted to a flight path that took it over the southern Indian Ocean, no traces of the airliner have ever been found.

 


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