Ukraine’s security services (SBU) have released an intercepted audio recording of pro-Russia separatists discussing how they shot down a civilian aircraft in eastern Ukraine, the Kyiv Post reports.
This morning, more than 300 people died when a Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the town of Torez in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, 25 miles from the Russian border.
The SBU leaked a conversation between militants nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” as the separatists inspected the crash site.
According to a transcript translated by the Kyiv Post, the rebels discuss realising that it is a civilian aircraft and seeing dead civilians.
“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.”
About 20 minutes after the plane crash, the SBU says that suspected Russian intelligence officer and leading commander of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” Igor Bezler (aka Strelkov) placed a call to Russia’s main intelligence department. He had also posted a message on the Russian version of Facebook that discussed taking down a “Ukrainian transport aircraft” in the same area of the MH17 crash.
U.S. intelligence has confirmed that a surface-to-air missile was fired at the flight.
An adviser to the Ukraine Interior Minister said pro-Russia separatists shot down the passenger plane with a Russian-made Buk ground-to-air missile system. And 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.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.