Malaysia Airlines – The conspiracy theories of MH370 and MH17

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

9M-MRD, the aircraft involved in the incident, photographed in October 2011
Shootdown summary
Date 17 July 2014
Site Near Hrabove, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine
48°8′17″N 38°38′20″ECoordinates: 48°8′17″N 38°38′20″E
Passengers 283
Crew 15
Fatalities 298 (all)
Survivors 0
Aircraft type Boeing 777-2H6ER
Operator Malaysia Airlines
Registration 9M-MRD
Flight origin Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Destination Kuala Lumpur International Airport

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][7] Immediately after the crash, a post appeared on the VKontakte social media attributed to Igor Girkin, leader of the Donbass separatists, claiming responsibility for shooting down a military aircraft,[8][9][10] but after it became clear that a civilian aircraft had been shot down, the separatists denied any involvement.Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17)[a] was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpurthat 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 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and crashed near Torez, 40 km (25 mi) from the border.[5] The crash occurred during the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion, part of the ongoing war in Donbass, in an area controlled by the Donbass People’s Militia. The Dutch Safety Board is now leading an investigation into the cause of the incident.

According to US intelligence sources, the plane was downed by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The conclusion was based on 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.[11] The Russian government has blamed the Ukrainian government for the shootdown.[6]

The crash of MH17 marks the fifth Boeing 777 hull loss, the third in just over a year.[12][13] With 298 deaths, MH17 is the deadliest air incident in Ukraine[14] and the deadliest airliner shootdown in history.[15] 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.[16]

Aircraft

Flight 17 was operated with a Boeing 777-2H6ER,[b] serial number 28411, registration 9M-MRD.[17] 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.[18] Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines and carrying up to 282 passengers (35business and 247 economy), the aircraft had recorded more than 43,000 hours in 6,950 cycles before the crash.[19][20]

The Boeing 777, which entered commercial service on 7 June 1995, has one of the best safety records in commercial aircraft.[21] In June 2014 there were about 1,200 aircraft in service, with 340 more on order.[22]

Random Analytics: MH17

1 - MH17_Infographic_140722

The above infographic displays the known nationalities of the 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 which departed from Amsterdam and was en-route to Kuala Lumpur. Details of the nationalities are primarily sourced by theMalaysian Airlines statement (released 18 Jul 2014) and further updates via ABC (19 Jul 2014) and the BBC (22 Jul 2014).

Depending on where you are in the World you have either awoken or are going to sleep after hearing about the terrible tragedy that has occurred near Shakhtars’k, Ukraine. Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Live: Australians among dead after Malaysia Airlines jet shot down by missile over Ukraine. Excerpt:

At least 27 Australians have died on board a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that was shot down by a ground-to-air missile over Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew.

Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it came down in rebel-held territory near Ukraine’s border with Russia. US vice-president Joe Biden says it was “blown out of the sky” and that it was “not an accident”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has told Parliament it appears that Russian-backed rebels shot the plane down.

Ukrainian wire taps appear to have captured pro-Russian separatists claiming responsibility for downing the jet, but there has been no official confirmation.

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.[30][31][32] Many initial reports erroneously indicated 100 delegates to the conference were aboard, but this was later revised to six.[33] Also on board were Dutch senator Willem Witteveen,[34] Australian authorLiam Davison,[35] and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay.[36]All 283 passengers and 15 crew died.[25][26][27] The crew were Malaysian and about two-thirds of the passengers were Dutch.[16][28][29] By 19 July, the airline had determined the nationalities of all 298 passengers and crew.[16] The nationalities are noted in the table.

At least twenty family groups were on board the aircraft, and eighty of the passengers were children.[37][38]

Background

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.[39][40] In April, the International Civil Aviation Organization warned governments that there was a risk to commercial passenger flights over Ukraine.[41] 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”.[41][42] Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and others continued overflying eastern Ukraine until after MH17 was shot down.[43]

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.[44] After that incident, on 29 June, Russian news agencies reported that insurgents had gained access to a Buk missile systemafter 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).[45][46][47]On the same day, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed possession of such a system in a since-deleted tweet.[46][48]

On 14 July, a Ukrainian Air Force An-26 transport plane flying at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) was shot down.[49][50] Militia reportedly claimed via social media that a Buk missile launcher had been used to bring down the aircraft.[51] American officials later said evidence suggested the aeroplane had been shot down from Russian territory.[52] 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”.[53][54]

On 15 July, following his visit to Kiev, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski warned about the dangers posed by the continued Russian military support for pro-Russian separatists, especially ground-to-air missiles.[55] On the same day, a Associated Press journalist saw a Buk launcher in Snizhne, a town in Donetsk Oblast that is 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of the crash site. The reporter also saw seven separatist tanks at a petrol station near the town.[56] 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.[57]

The airspace above Donetsk Oblast was closed by Ukraine below 26,000 feet (7,900 m) on 1 July 2014 and, on 14 July, below 32,000 feet (9,800 m).[58][59] The route in Russian airspace that MH17 would have taken was closed below 32,000 feet (9,800 m) by Russian air control a few hours before the airliner took off.[60] As with other countries Ukraine receives 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.[61][62]

According to Malaysia Airlines, MH17 filed an IFR flight plan requesting to fly at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet (11,000 m), but was directed to 33,000 feet (10,000 m).[63] The aircraft entered Ukrainian airspace climbing through 32,000 feet (9,800 m), and climbed to 33,000 feet (10,000 m) during its transition across the Kiev flight information region.[64]

Crash

Route of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

On 17 July 2014, Flight 17 departed from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Gate G03 at 12:14 CEST (10:14 UTC)[65] 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 (33,000 feet or 10,060 metres).[70] Malaysia Airlines stated that Ukrainian ATC had lost contact with the airliner at 13:15 UTC,14:15 GMT .[i] 30 km (19 mi) from the TAMAK waypoint at 47°51′24″N 39°13′6″E, which is on the Russian border[71][72] and that the aircraft’s emergency locator beacon was at 48°07′23″N 38°31′33″E.[73]

The last transponder transmission recorded by Flightradar24 was at 13:21 UTC and placed it at 48.0403°N 38.7728°E and 33,000 feet (10,000 m), heading 118° at 490 knots.[74][75][76] Flightradar24 also reported that a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER (Flight SQ351) and an Air India Boeing 787-8 (Flight AI113) were each about 25 km (16 mi) away from the Malaysian airliner when it disappeared.[77]

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.[78] Photographs from the site of the crash show scattered pieces of broken fuselage and engine parts, bodies, and passports.[79] Some of the wreckage fell close to houses in Hrabove.[80] Dozens of bodies fell into crop fields, and some fell into houses.[81]

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. They later recanted and denied involvement after learning that a civilian airliner had been downed, saying they did not have the equipment or training to hit a target at that altitude.[82][83][84]

Aftermath

Immediately following the incident, Ukraine closed all routes in eastern Ukrainian airspace, at all altitudes.[70] Airlines including Aeroflot, Transaero, Air France, Turkish Airlines,Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, and S7 Airlines announced their intention to instruct pilots to bypass Ukrainian airspace.[85]

It was suggested that credit and debit cards may have been looted from the bodies of the victims, and the Dutch Banking Association said it would take “preventative measures” against possible fraud.[86] There were also accusations that other possessions had been removed and that evidence at the crash site had been destroyed.[87][88] Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte acknowledged on 6 August that early reports of chaos and criminality around the site may have been exaggerated.[89] One eye-witness observed that valuable items like shoes and bottles of alcohol were untouched in the wreckage.[90]

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.[91][92] On 18 July 2014, shares in Malaysia Airlines dropped by nearly 16%.[93]

On 23 July, two Ukrainian military jets were hit by missiles at the altitude of 17,000 feet (5,200 m) close to the area of the MH17 crash. According to the Ukraine Security Council, preliminary information indicated that the missiles came from Russia.[94]

Investigation

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.[95] 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.[96] 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 agreement”.[97]

An international investigation team is examining why the aircraft crashed. In agreement with the Ukrainian government, the Netherlands will lead the investigation.[98][99] The investigation team consists of 24 investigators with members from Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia.[100] The black boxeswill be examined by an international team at a facility in the United Kingdom.[101] In addition to the international accident investigation, the selection of the flight route will also be independently investigated by the Dutch Safety Board.[102] 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.[103]

A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts, comprising search and recovery personnel, forensics experts, technical and medical experts is in Ukraine.[104] Australia sent a 45-member panel headed by former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who had earlier supervised the MH 370 probe.[105] 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.[106] A senior US administration official reported to ABC News that FBI and NTSB officials were poised to head to Ukraine to advise the investigation.[107]

On 18 July, it was reported that the black boxes had been recovered by separatists.[108] On the same day, the head of Donetsk Regional State Administration, Kostiantyn Batozky, stated that both black boxes had been found.[109] Rebels said later that two boxes were moved to Donetsk.[110] 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.[111]

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.[112][113] 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”.[114] The black boxes are currently being examined at a facility operated by the UK AAIB.[115] 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 downloaded.[116]

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.[117]

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 [118]

Cause

A mobile Buk surface-to-air missile launcher, similar to that believed to have been used in the incident

External audio
Pro-Russian rebels discuss the shooting down of an aircraft Intercepted phone calls, verified with voice recognition by the National Security Agency,[119] between rebels discussing which rebel group shot down the aircraft and initial reports it was a civilian aircraft. Audio (in Russian) released bySecurity Service of Ukraine with English subtitles.[120][121]

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined by the official investigation, which is being carried out by the Dutch Safety Board.[122] Both US and Ukrainian officials declared that a surface-to-air missile strike is the most likely cause,[123] 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-to-air missile system in the region capable of reaching the altitude of commercial air traffic.[52][124][125][126][127][128] 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.[129] Ballistics specialist Stephan Fruhling of the Australian National University‘s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre concurs with this, adding that it was probably a radar guided, rather than heat seeking, missile equipped with a proximity fuzed warhead such as a SA-11.[130]

Witnesses in Torez reported sightings on the day of the incident of what appeared to be a Buk missile launcher,[131][132] and AP journalists reported sightings of a Buk system in separatist controlled Snizhne.[57]

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.”[133][134][135] He cited what he said were recorded conversations in which separatists expressed satisfaction to Russian intelligence agents that they brought down an aeroplane.[136][137] The separatists denied that the recorded talks were related to the crash of MH17 and blamed the Ukrainian government for shooting it down.[138][139][140] According to Nayda, a Buk launcher used in the shoot-down was moved back into Russia the night after the attack.[57] The SBU released another recording, which they said was of pro-Russian-separatist leader Igor Bezler being told of an approaching aircraft two minutes before MH17 was shot down. Bezler said the recording was real, but referred to a different incident.[141]

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.[142] 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.[11]

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.[52] 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.[125] 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.”[126] 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][7][144]

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.[127] 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.[11] The British Foreign Office stated that it was “highly likely” that the missile was fired from area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.[145]

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 Russia.[57]

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;[146][147][148] he later retracted his comments, saying that he had been misquoted and stating that rebels never had a Buk.[149]

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 had not provided this information.[150]

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 3.1 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.[151][152]

The Russian Ministry of Defense has maintained that US claims of separatist responsibility were “unfounded”.[153]

Recovery of bodies

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 (170 mi) to the north. By the day after the crash, 181 of the 298 bodies had been found.[154]

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.[155]

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.[156] Bodies were observed being moved, placed in body bags, and loaded on to lorries.[157][158][159]

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.[160][161] 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.[162]

On 21 July, pro-Russian rebels allowed Dutch investigators to examine the bodies. By this time, 272 bodies had been recovered.[163]Remains left Torez on a train on the evening of 21 July, en route to Kharkiv to be flown to the Netherlands for identification.[112][164] 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.[113][165]

It was reported on 21 July that with 282 bodies and 87 body fragments found, there were still 16 bodies missing.[166] 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.[167][168] A train carrying the bodies arrived at the Malyshev Factory, Kharkiv on 22 July,[169] and the first remains were flown to Eindhoven on 23 July.[170] The investigation will be conducted at the Netherlands Army medical regiment training facility in Hilversumby an international team.[171] 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.[106]

Dutch authorities stated on 23 July that they found 200 bodies on the train when it arrived at Kharkhiv, leaving almost 100 unaccounted for.[172] 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.[173] The day afterwards another 74 bodies arrived.[174]

On 1 August it was announced that a search and recovery mission, including about 80 forensic police specialists from the Netherlands, Malaysia 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.[175][176] Australian officials had believed that as many as 80 bodies were still at the site,[177] but after some days of searching the international team had “found remains of only a few victims” and concluded that “the recovery effort undertaken by local authorities immediately after the crash was more thorough than initially thought.”[89]

On 6 August the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the recovery operation would be temporarily halted due to an upsurge in fighting around the crash site threatening the safety of crash investigators and recovery specialists, all international investigators and humanitarian forces (of approx 500 Australians and 80 Dutch/Malaysians) will leave the country leaving behind a small communications and laison team.[178] Three areas of the crash site remained unsearched. The Ukranian government announced it would dissolve the temporary truce in the local area until the investigators returned.

As of 9 August, 65 victims have been identified by the Dutch-led forensic team.[179]

Reactions

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the crash the result of an act of terrorism, and also called for an international investigation into the crash.[180]

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.[181] 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.[181] 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.[182] 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.[183]

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.[184]Prime Minister Najib Razak later said that Malaysia was unable to verify the cause of the crash and demanded that the perpetrators be punished.[185] The Malaysian governmentflew the national flag at half-mast from 18 July until 21 July.[186]

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,[187][188] and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans joined the Dutch investigation team sent to Ukraine.[189] Dutch government buildings flew the flag at half-mast on 18 July.[190] Music was cancelled and festivities were toned down on the last day of the Nijmegen Marches.[191] 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.[192]

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][193][194] 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.[195] 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”.[196]

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.[197] Vice-President Joe Biden said the plane appeared to have been deliberately shot down, and offered US assistance for the investigation into the crash.[194] US Ambassador to the United NationsSamantha Power called on Russia to end the war.[198] The British government requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council and called an emergency Cobra meeting after the incident.[199][200] 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 escalate.”[201]

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 quantities.[202][203]

The European Union’s representatives José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy released a joint statement calling for immediate and thorough investigation.[204] The EU officials also said that Ukraine has first claim on the plane’s black boxes.[205]

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.[206] The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2166 on 21 July, regarding an official crime investigation into the incident.

A makeshift memorial atAmsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, for victims of flight MH17

Since the crash, memorial services have been held in Australia[207] 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.[208][209] 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.[210] In Malaysia, makeshift memorials were created in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.[211]

Russian media coverage

Media coverage of the crash in Russia has differed from coverage by other worldwide media.[212] 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.[11]

The Russian government-funded[213] 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”.[214] 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.[215] 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 caused by the Ukrainian military. Only 3% of respondents to the poll blamed the disaster on pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.[216][217][218]

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”.[219] 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”.[220]

On 25 July, the liberal Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a bold headline in Dutch that read “Vergeef ons, Nederland” (“Forgive Us, Netherlands”).[221][222]

Maps

Location of crash site; departure and destination airports

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Crash site
Crash site
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Kuala LumpurInternational Airport
Magnify-clip.png

Location of departure, crash site and destination

Presumed route ending in an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels

Trident symbol

Flight MH17: Twilight Tridents and Noteworthy Numbers

Update: Another Trident. One of the Dutch victims had been a rower for Indiana University – and the logo for UI forms a trident. Karlijn Keijzner was 25, a doctoral student in the chemistry department studying an anti-cancer drug with potential for Alzheimer’s treatment.

Read below about what I earlier wrote about tridents abounding in this MH17 story.

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What are the hidden meanings in today’s breaking news?

On July 17, 2014, around 10:00 am EDT, Malaysia Airlines Flight Number 17, a Boeing 777 passenger plane from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in eastern Ukraine.

This plane used for MH17 had its first flight 17 years ago on July 17, 1997, and now is apparently shot down on July 17, 2014. Source.

“Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam,” the Malaysia Airlines tweeted. “The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace.”

An adviser to the Ukraine Interior Minister says separatists shot down the passenger plane with a Russian-made Buk ground-to-air missile system. The separaists in Donetsk admit to using these systems.

There were reportedly 295 people on board (280 passengers and 15 crew) when it crashed in Torez, which is about 25 miles from the Russian border.

There were 23 Americans on the flight, and were no survivors. It appears the plane was filled with tourists on their way to vacation in Bali and other Asian areas. The number 23 seems symbolic.

Some attention is being given to the fact that Malaysia Airlines’ logo is a trident.
The coat of arms of Ukraine is a trident.

The significance and foreshadowing that occurred due to the role of tridents was apparent in March.
Blogger Sibyl Hunter saw this in “Follow the Trident.”
Then there’s the Maserati, as shown here in True Detective,
which has as its logo, the trident.

Researcher Satenetas Rotenetor posted the following:

A trident / is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for “triple-spear”).
The word “trident” comes from the French word trident, which in turn comes from the Latin word tridens or tridentis: tri “three” and dentes “teeth”. Sanskrit trishula is compound of tri “three” + “thorn”.
The Greek equivalent is (tríaina), from Proto-Greek trianja (threefold).
The trident in the Coat of Arms of Ukraine is known as Tryzub , the literal translation of “trident”. Source/Wikipedia.
In Hindu mythology, SHIVA is the God of destruction.
TRIDENTS everywhere……….
The first Trident warned us they would strike when least expected:

Logo of Maserati is a trident.
Rotenetor also noted:

1. Here you have your warning,the Super Bowl, Maserati. TRIDENT

2. The symbol on the tail of a Malaysian aircraft. TRIDENT

3. The UKRAINE coat of arms. TRIDENT.

4. Just erected last night on the 9/11 memory site.double TRIDENT.

5. The fuzzy satelite image / China sent Americans
on a wild goose chase to see if they would follow orders.
9/11 written on it.

6. A combined pre planned UN/NATO exercise will take place
in the Ukraine in JULY called Rapid TRIDENT

A three-fingered hand salute is sometimes used to mimic the Tryzub; as for example in pro-independence demonstrations in the late 1980s and in the logo of the (Ukrainian) Svoboda party. Above, a man at the Euromaidan, doing the fascist Svoboda salute, surrounded by the flags of Svoboda, and in the background of EU and UPA.

The three-finger salute from the Hunger Games.
I just wrote about the hand sign that Cassidy Stay did at the public memorial service for her family, after the Spring, Texas, mass shooting. The three-finger salute is different, but the sync is worthy of noting.
Synchromysticism haunts the event of MH17.
 

As the Red Dirt Report’s Andrew W. Griffin’s commentary reminded me, today is the exact anniversary – 18 years ago – to the day – that TWA 800 was blown out of the sky. Also, brought to mind is the fate of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 being shot down by a Soviet jet on September 1, 1983.

Other situations like this have happened before:

April 20, 1978: Korean Airlines Flight 902, which diverted from its planned course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and strayed over the Soviet Union.
After being fired upon by an interceptor aircraft, the crew made a forced landing at night on the surface of a frozen lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by the hostile fire.
September 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by at least one Soviet air-to-air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed.
July 3, 1988: Iran Air Flight 655 Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed.

In Russian history, let us recall these moments:

On July 17, 1762, Catherine II becomes the Tsar of Russia upon the murder of Peter III of Russia.

On July 17, 1918, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his immediate family and retainers are murdered by Bolshevik Chekists at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

I will update this report as this story unfolds, and others weigh in with lexilinks, connections, and sync. Your comments are welcome.