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Ukraine Rebels Deny Involvement In MH17 Crash

Kiev, Ukraine

The Ukrainian separatist group denied any involvement in the alleged gunning down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine on Thursday that killed all 298 passengers and crew on board.

Oleg Tsarev, one of the leaders of Donetsk People’s Republic, told TIME that they have nothing to do with the crash as they do not have the capabilities to shoot a plane at such a height. The Boeing 777-200 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was cruising on at an altitude of 33,000 when it was shot down by a Russian-made Buk launcher.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Oleg Tsarev”]

We don’t have weapons that can take down a plane from that altitude


Aleksandr Boroday, the separatist republic’s Prime Minister, also denied its involvement in the event and dismissed that it was merely a “provocation by the Ukranian military,” The Independent reported.

“We confirm that the plane crashed not far from Donetsk,” Boroday said. “Representatives of Donetsk People’s Republic have headed to the scene of the plane search.”

The aircraft was gunned down in Torez in the Donetsk region in Eastern Ukraine controlled by the Russia-backed separatists. A total of 154 Dutch nationals, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, six British, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one Canadian perished in the tragedy. All 15 of the crew were Malaysian, BBC reported.

However, the Ukrainian government blamed the rebels for the incident and it a “terrorist attack” and not an accident. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin claimed that they have intercepted the rebels’ phone conversations, proving that the latter gunned down the aircraft.

The incident is the latest disaster that Malaysia Airlines (MAS) faces and came five months after the another Boeing 777 aircraft, flight MH370 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, vanished in airspace.

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