(NaturalNews) Another shocking catastrophe has struck Malaysia Airlines today: A Boeing 777 carrying 295 passengers was shot down with a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine, near the Russian border. Natural News readers will immediately remember that another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 (MH370) went missing earlier this year over the Indian ocean in a mysterious series of events which have yet to be solved.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those impacted by today's deliberate destruction of a civilian airliner. While details of who did this (and why) are still sketchy, it seems clear this was a deliberate act of war stemming from the Ukraine / Russia conflict, and such actions aimed at civilian targets are despicable, anti-human and fundamentally evil.
Here are the facts we know so far:
• Malaysia Airlines MH17 was shot down over territory held by pro-Russian forces, but inside the geographic area of Ukraine. "Body parts and wreckage spread over nine-mile area," reports the Daily Mail. (1)
• The plane was cruising at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was destroyed. (2) This is well within the range of BUK missile systems which, in some configurations, can reach targets at over 80,000 feet altitude.
• Ukraine and Russia are both pointing fingers at each other right now, attempting to place blame for the incident. Ukraine officials say the jetliner was struck by a BUK surface-to-air missile (see photo, right). Russian forces deny the charge, claiming the jetliner was shot down by the Ukranian Air Force with an air-to-air missile.
Here's the flight path of the jetliner, courtesy of FlightAware.com:
• Pro-Russian forces did claim to have shot down what they believed was a "Ukranian transport plane" around the same time Malaysia Airlines MH17 was destroyed. As BusinessInsider.com now reports: (3)
Igor Strelkov, the Russian leader of the separatist "Lugansk People Republic" who is linked to Russian intelligence, claimed that rebels had shot down the "transport plane" in Torez -- the same town that the Malaysia Airlines plane went down. "In the region of Torez AN-26 plane has been shot," he wrote on Russia's version of Facebook. "We have warned them -- not to fly 'in our sky.'"
• Pro-Russian separatists have a history of shooting down airplanes in the region. Almost exactly one month earlier, they shot down an IL-76 transport plane carrying 49 soldiers. (4) According to TheAviationist.com, "Since the beginning of the fightings, 10 aircraft (5x Mi-24 Hind and 2x Mi-8 Hip helicopters, 1x An-2, 1x An-30 and the Il-76 at Luhansk) were shot down by the local militia using portable surface-to-air missile systems."
• Twenty-three U.S. citizens were on board MH17. As many as 10 Britons were on the flight as well.
• Aviation pilots have been warned to avoid using the airspace over Ukraine, which is presently an active war zone. Avoiding this air space, however, results in the increased expenditure of fuel. It's not yet clear why Malaysia Airlines pilots chose to fly over an active war zone, or whether they were ordered to do so by their employer in order to save fuel costs.
• Boeing has publicly stated, "Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones." Boeing is no doubt preparing for the possibility that both Ukraine and Russian officials may attempt to scapegoat it for the crash by trying to claim the airplane exploded mid-air due to some sort of mechanical failure.
• Russian President Vladimir Putin offered "his sincerest words of sympathy and support to families and friends of the victims."
• No details of the passenger manifest have yet been released to the public. This list will be of extreme interest to conspiracy analysts and investigators who will attempt to determine whether any diplomats, war generals, scientists or other people were on board which might explain why the plane was deliberately targeted.
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