Ukrainian Crisis: Scene Where Plane Was Shot Down Shows Intl. Diversity In Casualties

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Main Points Of Article:

1. Items Ranging From Bali Travel Guides To Children’s Coloring Books Found In Crash Site
2. Human Remains Strewn For Miles In Donetsk Region
3. Investigators Met With Hostility From Separatists At Crash Site

The site of the downed MH-17 Boeing 777 airplane spans an area of over 9 miles in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine. Journalists on the ground report how horrific the scene is, and what items have been located in the sunflower field the plane came down in.

“It’s a gruesome scene,” journalist Noah Sneider told CNN. “There’s bodies splayed out through the fields. People said the plane kind of exploded in the air, and everything rained down in bits and pieces, the plane itself, the people inside.”

Bodies are being marked with sticks tied with white cotton ribbons. Sources report that the local morgue does not have the capacity to handle all 298 of the bodies. In fact, they report that the scene is even more gruesome due to the bodies already beginning to decompose.

Over 100 of the people on the flight were AIDS researchers, on their way to a conference that now will have a hundred empty seats. The conference the researchers were traveling to, the 20th Annual International AIDS Conference, released condolences. “The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today,” the statement read. β€œAt this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.”

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Items that were also on the plane have been found in the crash site. A tour guide to the popular oceanside vacation spot of Bali was found, along with books in Dutch, children’s coloring books, and passports. Ages of the casualties range from infants to elderly citizens from at least 9 nations, including the United States, Australia, the Netherlands, and Malaysia.

International investigators into the crash arrived to hostility from the pro-Russian separatists in the region. President Obama called for the crash site to be left alone by the separatists so that those responsible can be deciphered and brought to justice.

The downing of the plane, if the United States’s working theory that Russia supplied the SA-11, or “Buk,” missiles and how to use them to the separatists, would be one of the worst state-sponsored terror attacks in history. This is already the 6th deadliest plane disaster in history.

Most devastatingly of all, this is the deadliest intentional plane crash in world history.

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Ukrainian Crisis: Passenger Plane Shot Down Over Ukraine, Killing 295, Including 23 Americans

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The biggest news regarding the Ukrainian Crisis since the annexation of Ukraine has come today. A Malaysian passenger airliner was downed by a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine, killing all 295 people aboard.

In a conflict that already has re-split Europe on Cold War lines, this news raises the stakes highly. The United States said that the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was “blown out of the sky” while flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Ukrainian officials blame pro-Russian militants, with the aid of Russian military intelligence, of using a Soviet-era SA-11 Surface-To-Air missile to shoot down the plane carrying citizens of nations including the United States, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Though they deny any involvement with this attack, pro-Russian separatists bragged last month about obtaining this kind of Surface-To-Air, or SAM, system. This would enable them to pull off an attack like this, but they, along with Russian President Putin, pin the blame on Ukrainian forces. Putin called the attack a “tragedy,” but did not state or speculate who fired the missile.

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The plane was legally allowed to fly above 32000 feet, as international air lanes are still open above that mark. This Boeing 777 was flying at least 1000 feet above that requirement when it was shot down.

Separatists have these kind of missiles , as they have used them in recent weeks. Last Monday, they used a SA-11 SAM to bring down a Ukrainian Antonov An-26 turboprop plane. They also downed a Sukhoi Su-25 fighter on Wednesday. Both of these losses have been confirmed by Ukraine.

One local man told Reuters, “”I was working in the field on my tractor when I heard the sound of a plane and then a bang. Then I saw the plane hit the ground and break in two. There was thick black smoke.”

An emergency worker reported at least 100 bodies have been recovered, and a separatist leader has been quoted saying that the group has found one of the plane’s black boxes. Bodies and wreckage are spread for a 9 mile area, blanketing the Ukrainian steppes with grotesque destruction.

Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak demanded swift justice to those guilty and that the crash site must not be tampered with until international authorities can investigate the site. This is by far the most international this crisis has been since the shutdown of natural gas to Ukraine from Gazprom, and the annexation of Crimea.