Minutes after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed over Ukraine's rebel-held area, Kiev authorities intercepted telephone conversations of rebels that suggested the pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has released what it claims is a transcript of the conversation that took place between rebel commanders and Russian military intelligence officers.
In one of the calls, made at 04:20 Kiev time – 20 minutes after the plane crash – Igor Bezler, who is indentified as a Russian intelligence operative and the top commander of the Donetsk People's Republic, reports the events to Vasili Geranin, a colonel in Russian military intelligence.
Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).
Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?
Bezler: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It's smoking.
Geranin: How many minutes ago?
Bezler: About 30 minutes ago.
In the second conversation, two people nicknamed "Major" and "Greek" speak about the crash immediately after the site inspection where the Boeing 777 passenger went down.
Major: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those Cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.
Greek: Yes, Major.
Major: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first "200" (code for dead bodies). We have found the first "200". A Civilian.
Greek: Well, what do you have there?
Major: In short, it was 100 per cent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.
Greek: Are many people there?
Major: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).
Greek: What kind of aircraft?
Major: I haven't ascertained this. I haven't been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.
Greek: Is there anything left of the weapon?
Major: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medical items, towels, toilet paper.
Greek: Are there documents?
Major: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.
In the third intercepted call, reportedly between a rebel and a Cossack Commander Nikolay Kozitsin, they voices speak about civilian casualties from the plane.
Rebel: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It's a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.
They say on TV it's AN-26 transport plane, but they say it's written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine's territory?
Kozitsin: That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn't be f*cking flying here. There is a war going on.
The jetliner, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, crashed in Ukraine killing all the 283 passengers and 15 crew members. Malaysian Airlines said the passenger jet disappeared from the radar as it was cruising over eastern Ukraine approaching Russia border.