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Published On: Fri, Jul 18th, 2014

Igor Girkin, Ukraine rebel, linked to firing missile at Malaysia Airlines plane, death toll at 298

While the Russians and Ukraines blame one another over Thursday’s Malaysia Airplanes plane crash, the death rose to 283 passengers, an increase of three, to account for three infants. A bizarre Facebook post and Tweet may substantiate the claims by the Ukraine leadership that the missile which hit the blame was fired by rebels.

Malaysia Alrlines plane crash debris field photo/twitter

Malaysia Alrlines plane crash debris field photo/twitter

Ukraine’s security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that showed rebels were responsible. In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane. In the second, two rebel fighters, one at the crash scene, say the rocket attack was carried out by insurgents about 15 miles north of the site.

Separatist leader Igor Girkin boasted on Facebook at about the same time the plane went down claiming to have downed a transport plane, though the post was quickly deleted after it became clear the plane was a passenger aircraft.

“In Torez An-26 was shot down, its crashes are lying somewhere near the coal mine “Progress,” read a tweet, obtained by FoxNews.com and translated into English. “We have warned everyone: do not fly in our skies.”

FBI and NTSB officials will head to Ukraine in an “advisory role” in the investigation as Malaysia officials are calling for an independent international investigation into the incident.

Malaysia Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, speaking at a press conference today, called the initial indications that the plane was shot down “an outrage against human decency…Malaysia condemns any such action in the strongest possible terms, and calls for those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice,” he said.

Ukraine and Russian leaders are blaming one another, fueling increased tensions in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine bore responsibility for the crash, but he did not address the question of who might have shot it down and didn’t accuse Ukraine of doing so.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin statement issued early Friday. “And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.”

Separatist groups reportedly blocked Ukrainian officials from the scene following the crash, and later said the “black box,” or flight data recorder, had been sent to Moscow. An assistant to Girkin said Friday on condition of anonymity that eight out of the plane’s 12 recording devices had been located. He did not elaborate.

He said Girkin was still considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the sprawling crash site. Any investigators would need specific permission from the rebel leadership before they could safely film or take photos at the scene.

From the U.S. retired Army Lt. Col Ralph Peters said it is unlikely the Russian military would have put missile batteries capable of knocking a plane out of the sky at such an altitude in the hands of rebels.

“It wasn’t the separatists, although Russia will try to blame them, or blame the Ukrainians,” Peters said. “The Russians have not given the separatists complex, high-altitude air-defense systems.If this airliner was flying at 34,000 feet or any altitude close to that, it was shot down by Russian military air-defense systems perched on the Ukrainian border.”

The self-titled “Self-defence forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic” boasted in a June 29 press release of having taken control of Buk missile defense systems. The Buk, or SA-11 missile launchers, have a range of up to 72,000 feet.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. John Kerry, David Cameron blame Putin, Russia for separatists shooting down Malaysia plane - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] was quickly clear Russia supporters were behind the shooting down of Malaysia flight 17 which killed nearly three hundred. Now the world’s governments are all pointing fingers and […]

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