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Ukraine claims recorded phone calls prove separatists shot down Malaysian airliner

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Ukraine claims recorded phone calls prove separatists shot down Malaysian airliner
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As allegations grow that a Malaysian airliner which crashed on Thursday, killing more than 290 people, was shot down, both the Ukrainian government and separatists are denying any involvement.

Both sides accuse the other of attacking the plane which came down close to the border with Russia.

Kyiv’s Security service produced what it claimed was an intercepted recording of phone calls between Russian military intelligence officers and rebels.

On the recording, the men can be heard talking about how they have shot down an aircraft, and then realising it is a civilian plane. They confirm that there are no weapons on board and that women and children have been killed.

The men are heard saying in Russian:

- It’s actually a civilian plane. – Are there many people? – Lots! Debris has fallen on houses. – What type of plane was it? – I don’t know yet, I haven’t been to the (crash) site. – Weapons on it? – Nothing, just civilian stuff, medical material, towels, toilet paper. – Documents? – Yes, the passport of an Indonesian student.

The Chief of the Ukrainian Security Service, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, said: “This is not the last proof that we are going to publish, with the authorisation from the Ukrainian president, in order to open all possible channels and have an unbiased investigation of this crime, to make sure that the Russian military who committed this crime, are going to be punished.”

Separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic claim their self-defence forces do not have powerful enough military equipment and claimed the crash was a “provocation by the Ukrainian military”.