Tourists in Plane from Amsterdam shot down over Ukraine 295 Killed
malaysia airlines ukraine
(Vatican Radio) Ukraine's government has accused pro-Russian rebels of shooting down a Malaysian Airways plane, killing all 295 people on board. Malaysia Airlines confirmed it lost contact with Flight MH17 from Amsterdam over Ukraine. An aviation source in Moscow said the plane had been found burning on the ground in east Ukraine near Russia's border. Defense analysts said shooting down a plane at 10,000 meters (9.7 miles) would have required a long- range surface-to-air missile - possibly guided by radar. Kiev has blamed Moscow of supplying rebels with military hardware, charges Moscow denies.
The Boeing 777, with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, said a spokesperson of Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dutch and other tourists were among the passengers on the plane, which was on its way to Kuala Lumpur, media reported.
The crash comes after several other planes were allegedly shot down by pro-Russian rebels or even from Russian territory.
Just before the latest crash, Ukraine's Security Council said a Ukrainian air force fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile fired from a Russian plane. The pilot apparently managed to escape after his jet was hit. Additionally, Ukrainian troops were allegedly fired upon by rockets fired from Russian territory. Moscow did not immediately comment, but Pro-Russian separatists claimed responsibility for shooting down two Su 25 warplanes on Wednesday.
OTHER PLANE HIT
Kiev confirmed that a second plane was hit, apparently by a portable surface to-air missile. But officials said the pilot was not injured and managed to land his aircraft safely.
Separately Ukraine claimed one of its military transport planes, carrying eight people, was shot down Monday by a rocket fired from inside Russia.
The latest reported incidents came while Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the United States that new sanctions against Russia, over its perceived support for pro-Russian separatists, would stalemate bilateral relations.
He also warned they could hurt both Russian and American businesses.
“(Sanctions) have a boomerang effect and without a doubt they will push US-Russian relations to a dead end and cause very serious damage,” he saId in televised remarks. “I am also sure that this damages the national long-term strategic interests of the US government and US people.”
The penalties announced by the White House include targeting two major Russian energy firms, a pair of powerful financial institutions, eight arms firms and four individuals with business punishments and asset freezes. Leaders in Europe, which has a far deeper economic relationship with Russia than the U.S., were more restrained.
They have ordered investment and development banks on the continent to suspend financing agreements with Moscow. But the European Union leaders asked their foreign ministers to consider targeting people or companies involved in
the unrest in Ukraine.
With fighting escalating, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is under pressure to free soldiers trapped by separatist fighters at a border crossing in eastern Ukraine in the Luhansk area.
Dozens of people have been killed since the weekend in an increasingly bloody battle for control over eastern Ukraine, amid fears of urban warfare.
Family members who protested in Kiev have expressed concern about reports that as many as three brigades are trapped in the fighting with pro-Russian separatists. Shared from Radio vaticana