Senior U.S. officials now admit that the Malaysian airlines passenger plane was likely accidentally shot down.
The Russian government claims Ukrainian fighter jets were flying very close to Malaysian Flight 17 when it was shot down.
Eyewitness interviews by BBC Russia lend weight to these allegations:
Eyewitness #1: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.
Eyewitness #2: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.
Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].
A local pro-Russian commander says that Ukrainian fighter jets routinely hid behind civilian airplanes, and then dropped bombs on the Russian separatists (also via BBC):
They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them. It is only now that they stopped flying over us – but, usually, civilian aircraft would always fly above us. And they hide [behind them]. [The experience in] Slavyansk had demonstrated that they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away.
He made the statement after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.
However, a Youtube video made a month before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down also allegesthat Ukranian fighter jets were hiding behind passenger planes, pulling away temporarily, dropping bombs on Ukrainian separatists, and then hiding again behind the plane (minor corrections of spelling and punctuation):
Terrible things are happening. For example, an incident that happened recently:passenger plane was flying by, and Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped bombs on residential sector of Semenovka town. Then he regained the altitude and hid behind the passenger plane again. Then he left.
They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would be a global catastrophe. Civilians would have died.
Then they would say that terrorists here did it. There are no terrorists here. There are regular people here that came out in defense of their own city.
Postscript: The woman in the last video may be credible, or she may be a propagandist. But the point isn’t necessarily credibility. Let me explain with an analogy …
A circus manager is killed in a freak accident when the strongman drops a heavy weight on him, with some unusual motion caught on video.
A video surfaces – shot a month prior to the accident – in which Bozo the clown says that the strongman dropped a heavy weight and almost killed somebody, because he was experimenting with a way to “cheat” by spinning the weights thank keeping them steady (it’s often easier to spin with weights than hold them in a fixed position).
Bozo is not a credible witness. But his claim of a very similar near-accident a month before – and alleginghighly-unusual behavior by the weightlifter – merits further investigation.
In the same way, the militant – or perhaps a paid propaganda actress – may not be a credible witness. But the fact that her video was posted a month before the airplane was shot down – and alleges unusual behavior by the Ukrainian air force – merits further investigation.