Transcripts of audio intercepted by Ukranian security services in which pro-Russian separatists discuss how they had shot down an airliner paint a chilling picture of what happened on the ground after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed near the Russian border, killing all 298 people on board, including 27 Australians.
The audio points to the involvement of the rebels, who are believed to have Russian backing, in the crash.
US intelligence has confirmed a surface-to-air missile was fired at the plane. The rebels have shot down two Ukrainian military aircraft in the past week.
One section of the audio includes a conversation between two militants nicknamed “Major” and “Grek”, as rebels inspected the crash site. They discuss the evidence that it was a civilian plane.
“It’s 100% a passenger aircraft,” Major is recorded as saying, noting that he saw no weapons on-site. “Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.”
In another segment, a militant reports in to Mykola Kozitsyn, believed to be one of the Cossack leaders of the rebel movement. “As to this plane shot down nearby Snezhnoe-Torez,” the militant says. “This turned out to be a passenger one. It fell down outside Grabovo, there is a whole lot of bodies of women and children.”
An adviser to the Ukraine Interior Minister separatists shot down the passenger plane with a Russian-made Buk ground-to-air missile system. Residents in the area — a stronghold of pro-Russian rebels who are fighting the Ukrainian army — said one of those systems was nearby.
The Interpreter translated another conversation leaked by the SBU that further corroborates the mounting evidence:
Fighter: Regarding that plane downed in the area of Snezhny-Torez.
Mykola Kozitsin: Yes.
Fighter: It turned out to be a passenger flight. It fell in the area of Grabovo, there is a sea of corpses of women and children. Now the Cossacks are looking at all this.
Fighter: They’re broadcasting on TV that this is apparently an AN-26, a Ukrainian, a transport plane, but “Malaysian Airlines” is written on it. What was it doing on the territory of Ukraine?
M. Kozitsin: That means they were bringing in spies, I don’t know. You see.
Fighter: Yes, sir.
M. Kozitsin: What the f**k were they flying in here for, there’s a war on.
Fighter: I understand.
Here’s the audio, with translations…
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