- A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border amid allegations it was shot down;
- 298 passengers, including nine Britons, and crew were on board Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur as it went down;
- US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power says investigators "cannot rule out technical assistance from the Russian personnel."
- Pro-Russian separatists pledge to give international investigators access to the crash site.
18.57 Live coverage of the Malaysia Airlines flight Flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine ends here for today. For more updates please visit IBTImesUK.
18.30 An eyewitness at the plane crash site says: 'I've Never Seen Anything So Horrifying'
18.20 US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power says during UN emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council investigators "cannot rule out technical assistance from the Russian personnel."
17.22 Obama says: "We have seen a ticking up of violence in eastern Ukraine, despite efforts from the Ukrainian government to abide to ceasefire and to reach out" to the rebels.
"We know that they are heavily armed and they are trained and we know that that's not an accident; that is happening because of Russia's support".
17.14 Obama pays tribute to the victims and mentions the about 100 AIDS experts heading to the major annual conference in Melbourne that died in the crash.
These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to save the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence. In this world today we shouldn't forget that in the midst of conflict and killing there are people like these. People who are focused on what can be built, rather than on what can be destroyed. People who are focused on how they can help people who they never met ... It is important for us to lift them up and to affirm their lives".
17.06 Obama says: "Time and again Russia has refused to take concrete steps necessary to deescalate the situation."
Russia has continued to violate Ukraine sovereignty and support separatists, Obama said.
"Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences".
17.01 Obama warns against misinformation and speculations. "We are going to make sure that the truth is out," the President says.
17.00 Obama urges the launch of an international investigation.
"Russia pro-Russian separatist and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate ceasefire. Evidence must not be tampered with."
16.59 Obama says: "Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian backed separatists inside Ukraine.
Obama says this is not the first time a plane in shot down in Ukraine.
16.56 Obama says:
"Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken. Men, Women, children, infants, who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine. Their deaths is an outrage of unspeakable proportions.
"We know at least one American citizen was killed." Obama names the US victim as Quinn Lucas Shanzmen.
16.54 US president Obama is speaking at the White House.
16.52 Malaysia Airlines has released an update on MH17 victims, saying that 10 Britons were aboard the flight to Kuala Lumpur. It was previously thought that nine UK citizens had lost their lives in the crash.
16.49 Russia continues to redeploy a consistent number of troops near the border, Ukrainian ambassador to the UN Yuriy Sergeyev says.
16.40 The Ukrainian ambassador to the UN says that evidence suggests separatists, which he calls "terrorists", have two Sam systems that could have been used to shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane.
16.30 More from US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. She tweets:
16.27 Churkin accuses the Ukrainian government of violent, deadly action in eastern Ukraine and blames the West and Kiev for fuelling the conflict.
"We place all blame on Kiev".
16.22 Churkin asks why Ukrainian aviation dispatchers sent a civil plane to fly over a conflict area.
16.19 Russian representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin is now addressing the Security Council. He expresses condolences to families of the victims.
16.16 In this photo the Dutch flag flies at half-staff at the Kneuterdijk Palace in The Hague. More than 180 victims aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 heading from Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur were Dutch.
16.11 A team of OSCE observers has reportedly arrived at the site of the crash.
16.07 France's representative to the UN says it is no surprise that "if thugs are supplied with arms they will behave like thugs," referring to Ukraine rebels.
16.02 In this photo, members of the United Nations Security Council are seen as they observe a moment of silence for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
15.59 The Chinese representative to the UN, Liu Jieyi, says Beijing's "priority is to establish facts". He urges the international community no to "jump to any conclusions".
Ukraine says he works for the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU.
Born in Moscow, he posted on social media hours after MH17 crashed: "We did warn you not to fly in our sky." – a post that has since been deleted.
15.43 Lithuania representative to the UN says all evidence points clearly in one direction, adds that the tragedy would have not happened if Russia didn't arm the rebels.
"The carnage must end".
15.41 Power bashes Russia and Putin in a vitriolic speech. "Russia must stop destabilising Ukraine," she says. "Russia must end this war."
15.36 The US mission to the UN tweets:
15.28 US representative to the UN, ambassador Samantha Power is now speaking.
"We will not rest until we find out what happened," she says, addressing the families of the victims.
Power says those responsible should be brought to justice and not sheltered by some UN member states.
15.27 The Chadian representative to the UN is now speaking. N'Djamena also calls for an international, independent inquiry into the crash.
15.23 Wilson calls for international investigation into the incident.
Wilson says that Russia's claim that rebels groups in eastern Ukraine are spontaneous resistance movements is false, as they are led by Russian citizens and supplied by Moscow.
Wilson demands that Russia condemns the actions of separatist groups.
15.21 UK Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Peter Wilson is now addressing the security council.
"This is a dark moment for the international community" Wilson says. He says that the "senseless violence" unleashed by rebels in eastern Ukraine has reached "monstrous proportions".
15.18 Feltman urges parties to implement a ceasefire as a first step toward the resolution of the conflict.
15.17 Watch the UN Security Council meeting on Malaysia Airlines plane live here.
15.16 Feltman says armed groups in Ukraine need to disarm immediately and stop engage in in unlawful acts, calls on government to show restraint and limit consequences of the conflict for civilians.
15.15 Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, says he was shocked to learn that two thirds of the victims were Dutch and victims included 80 children.
15.10 UN security council meeting holds a minute of silence in honour of victims ahead of discussion on the incident.
14.57 This is the tweet through which Ben Pocock's father, Jeremy, confirmed to a friend of his son that the Loughborough University student was on aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
14.48 Ben Pocock, from Bristol is the fifth Briton named as one of the victims of flight MH17.
14.40 Passengers from all walks of life were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The Boeing 777 was carrying 298 people when it crashed in eastern Ukraine.
Relatives, friends and colleagues were paying tribute to victims before the airline released their names.
14.36 Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov blames pro-Russian separatists and the Kremlin for the crash, the Kyiv Post reports.
"The SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Interior Ministry have collected and continue to collect irrefutable evidence and proof that point to the authors of this tragedy from the terrorist organization DNR/LNR (Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic), and their Russian, Putinist masters," Avakov says.
14.31 Ukraine security service, the SBU, has posted online a video of the alleged intercepted phone conversations between pro-Russian separatists and Russian military officers discussing the downing.
Here is the English version:
14.23 Cameron tweets:
14.20 David Cameron joins international leaders insisting those responsible for the MH17 attack must be "held to account" amid growing signs the incident could prove to be a game changer in the international response to the Ukraine crisis.
"It is an absolutely shocking incident; it cannot be allowed to stand. Until we know more, it's not really possible to say much more, but we'll be working very hard to get to the bottom of this," Cameron says.
Read more about the British PM's remakrs on the plane crash here: Malaysia Airlines MH17: Cameron Pledges Those Responsible Will be 'Held to Account'
14.18 Malaysia Airlines has also released the Cargo manifest of MH17.
Malaysia Airlines tweets:
14.15 Malaysia Airlines has released a new statement on the incident, with an update on the victims and on flight routes.
Media Statement 4: MH17 Incident
1. Flight plan
MH17's flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, who are solely responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace. Eurocontrol is the air navigation service provider for Europe and is governed under ICAO rules.
The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine.
In April, the International Civil Aviation Organization identified an area over the Crimean peninsula as risky. At no point did MH17 fly into, or request to fly into, this area. At all times, MH17 was in airspace approved by the ICAO.
MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the 'optimum' altitude.
However, an aircraft's altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.
Following this afternoon's press conference, Malaysia Airlines can confirm that a further 16 passengers' nationalities have been verified. The latest breakdown of nationalities of those on board the flight is as follows:
· 189 Netherlands
· 44 Malaysia
· 27 Australia
· 12 Indonensia
· 9 UK
· 4 Belgium
· 4 Germany
· 3 Philippines
· 1 Canada
· 1 New Zealand
Four passengers' nationalities remain to be verified.
4. New flight route
Following this incident, Malaysia Airlines now avoids Ukrainian airspace entirely, flying further south over Turkey.
13.55 Russia Today British journalist Sara Firth confirms she resigned in protest at the inaccurate coverage of the Ukraine plane crash. She tweets:
13.50 Pro-Russia separatists announce they will allow access to the plane crash site.
13.44 The Guardian reporter Oksana Grytsenko from Grabovo says pro-Russia sepraatists are "clearly in charge of the clear up and investigation."
13.35 Malaysia Airlines Vice President Huib Gorter announces next of kin will receive $5,000 (£2,928) for "first needs", during a news conference held at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
13.09 Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has dismissed Ukraine's claims of Russian involvement in the downing of the plane, writes the Guardian Moscow's corrsespondent Shaun Walker.
Speaking on Russian TV, the minister said: "As for the things they are saying in Kiev, basically accusing us of doing it, over the past months, I have pretty much never heard a truthful statement coming out of Kiev."
13.01 The Dutch Senate says that senator Willem Witteveen, 62, was one of the more than 150 Dutch victims.
12.57 Emergency workers at the scene have located 181 bodies. 298 people were aboard the Malaysia Airline flight to Kuala Lumpur.
12.55 Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine are making conflicting statements on whether the plane's black box has been found and who is holding it.
Rebel leader Aleksandr Borodai says "no black boxes have been found ... We hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened."
Earlier, an assistant to another rebel commander, Igor Girkin, claimed that eight out of the plane's 12 recording devices had been located.
12.47 Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that a number of videos uploaded online add to the evidence that government troops in eastern Ukraine, near where MH17 was downed, have come under attack from Russia.
The ministry writes on Facebook:
On Wednesday, July 16, residents of the city of Gukovo, Rostov region, uploaded videos demonstrating the shelling of the Ukrainian territory from multiple artillery rocket systems "Grad", located in Russia.
Videos taken from different angles were uploaded by different users of the YouTube service.
The video clearly shows that shots made from the Russian territory by multiple artillery rocket system "Grad" targeted the location of forces participating in the anti-terrorist operation within the territory of Ukraine.
The Ministry adds:
However, Russian active military participation in the Eastern part of Ukraine is not limited to the cases mentioned above. According to the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, on July 16 the military aircraft of the Russian armed forces shot down the Ukrainian aircraft Su-25 carrying out tasks near the city of Amvrosievka within the territory of Ukraine.
The pilot ejected himself from the aircraft and was evacuated to a safe place. The shooting was performed with "air-to-air" type missiles from military aircrafts of the Russian armed forces patrolling the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Direct evidence proving that Russia continues to pull in its troops near the Ukrainian border, place weapons there, and use its military equipment and soldiers against Ukrainian forces is multiplying daily. Yet, official Moscow denies its direct involvement...
12.23 Former Russia Today reporter Sara Firth, condemns the news outlet reporting on Ukraine and MH17 as bias on twitter.
12.18 In this photo, wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday is seen near the village of Rozsypne, in the Donetsk region.
12.01 A fourth British victim has been named Richard Mayne, from Leeds, the Independent reports.
11.41: BuzzFeed's Max Seddon tweets:
11.37 Newcastle football club pays tribute to two fans that were travelling to watch their team play in New Zealand via Malaysia on flight MH17.
The club writes in a statement:
It is with great sadness that we learn today the tragic news of the deaths of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, two of the Club's most loyal supporters.
Both men were familiar faces at every Newcastle United away game and attended not only first team games but Reserve and Academy matches too.
John was a lifelong supporter and a familiar sight in the stands for almost half-a-century, having barely missed a single game in that time.
Liam will be known to many fans during his time volunteering as a steward on supporters' buses to away games.
Manager Alan Pardew says:
Myself and all the players are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrible news.
We all knew how passionately John and Liam supported the team and the Club.
They were with us just earlier this week for our first pre-season friendly against Oldham and their dedication to travel all the way around the world to support us in New Zealand tells you all you need to know about the passion they had for Newcastle United.
Our hearts go out to their families and friends."
11.31 Here's an up-to-date roundup of what we know about the crash:
11.27 German Chancellor Angela Merkel also calls for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine to allow an independent investigation into the alleged downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Four German nationals are among the victims.
Merkel tells reporters in Berlin:
Our thoughts are with the relatives of those who were on board MH17.
I have called Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to assure him that our thoughts are with the Dutch at this moment.
What is important now is for an independent investigation to take place as soon as possible.
For that, a ceasefire is needed, and then it is of course crucial for those responsible to be brought to justice."
11.20 As Malaysia is coming to terms with the double disasters that tainted its flagship airline, it has been revealed that one family has been touched by both tragedies.
The husband of a woman who swapped her shift on the missing MH370 flight was on board MH17 when it crashed in eastern Ukraine.
11.08 The Ukrainian government says they have international experts to take part in the investigation into the plane crash.
Ukraine Ministry of Infrastructure says:
In particular, the notifications have been sent to the aeronautical authorities of Malaysia, the Netherlands, the Boeing Company, ICAO, the European civil aviation conference, and EUROCONTROL, the European Commission and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The National Bureau of investigation of aviation events and incidents with civil aircraft created a Commission headed by its Director yesterday to clarify the circumstances of the tragedy with Boeing 777, which also includes representatives of State aviation service of Ukraine. The Commission is sent to the scene of the accident."
Meanwhile Russia has lamented Kiev did not respond to their proposal to provide assistance.
"We offered assistance to our partners in Ukraine due to the existing experience," Russia's Emergencies Deputy Minister Vladimir Artamonov tells Itar-Tass news agency. "There is no reaction from Ukraine."
10.57 About a third of the 298 passengers killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were said to be AIDS experts heading to the major annual conference in Melbourne.
Delegates at a pre-conference in Sydney were told that about 100 medical researchers, health workers and activists were on the Boeing 777 that went down near the Russia-Ukraine border.
10.49 The World Health Organization says its spokesman Glenn Thomas was on board MH17.
Thomas a 49-year-old Briton was traveling to Melbourne, Australia, to attend the 20th International AIDS conference.
The WHO tweets:
10.38 A relative to Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is reported to be among the passengers who were on board MH17.
The PM's step-grandmother, Puan Sri Siti Amirah, 83, was travelling alone and was on her way to Indonesia via Kuala Lumpur, a spokeswoman for the family told Malaysia's Star newspaper.
"She was a very, very nice lady. A kind-hearted, beautiful woman. She was a homemaker who looked after my grandfather very well," family spokeswoman Datin Dr Faridah Abdullah says.
10.33 Some photos purportedly showing a separatist convoy in eastern Ukraine carrying a Buk surface-to-air system tough to have been used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have been posteed online.
According to the BBC monitor the photos have been circulated by pro-Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Tymchuk, an authoritative military reporter in Ukraine.
10.29 Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says: "This is an international crime which must be investigated by the international tribunal in The Hague."
10.18 British PM David Cameron tweets:
10.17 Ukraine security service, the SBU, has released what they say are recordings of intercepted phone conversations between pro-Russian separatists and Russian military officers discussing the downing.
"We have just shot down a plane," leading Donetsk rebel commander, Igor Bezler, ius heard as saying. Click here for the transcript.
10.11 Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
"Mr Putin said that this tragedy only underscores yet again the urgent need for a peaceful settlement to the serious crisis in Ukraine," a Kremlin statement read. "The President also called for a thorough and objective investigation into all circumstances surrounding the disaster."
Yesterday in a similar statement Putin expressed his condolences to the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak.
9.54Here is the full statement made by Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong Lai at a press conference that ended a few minutes ago.
MH17 PRESS STATEMENT
BY LIOW TIONG LAI, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT, MALAYSIA
FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, I will now give a brief statement on the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
On behalf of the Malaysian government, and the Malaysian people, I would like to offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this tragedy.
In recent hours, officials in the US and the Ukraine have indicated that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down. Should this be confirmed, it would contravene international law, and be 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.
As set out in the International Civil Aviation Organization's Annex 13, the Ukrainian government will institute the investigation into the circumstances of the accident, and be responsible for the conduct of the investigation. Updates on the investigation will be provided to the next of kin by the investigating authority, as per the ICAO guidelines.
Malaysia offers its full and unqualified support to the investigation. Malaysia has been formally invited to participate, and will send two senior accredited representatives to assist.
Malaysia also welcomes calls for an independent international investigation into the incident, and urges all parties to co-operate to ensure such an investigation can be completed.
It is essential that the integrity of the crash site be preserved, out of respect for the investigation and for those who have died.
Malaysia Airlines takes its responsibilities to the next of kin seriously. The airline has arranged for some 40 staff to be flown to Amsterdam, to support the families.
Separately, as the Prime Minister announced this morning, Malaysia will today dispatch a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team to Kiev.
In total, 62 people – 30 SMART team members, 15 medical staff, 10 Royal Malaysia Air Force representatives, 5 Malaysia Airlines staff, 2 Department of Civil Aviation staff – are travelling to Kiev.
Earlier today, Malaysia Airlines released a list of those on board the flight and their nationalities. The list included 41 passengers whose nationality could not be verified at the time, as they were in transit from previous flights, and had not entered passport control in Amsterdam.
21 of these passengers' nationalities have now been verified, and 20 remain to be verified. The latest breakdown of known nationalities of those on board is as follows:
173 from the Netherlands
9 from the United Kingdom
1 New Zealander
Malaysia Airlines is in the process of notifying the next of kin of those on board. Once all families have been contacted, the passenger manifest will be released. In addition, Malaysia Airlines will release the cargo manifest later today.
Responsibility for releasing further information about the investigation rests with the investigating authority, which in this case is the Ukrainian National Bureau of Air Accidents and Incidents Investigation with Civil Aircraft.
The flight path taken by MH17 was approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization, and by the countries whose airspace the route passed through. And the International Air Transportation Association has also stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was unrestricted.
15 out of 16 airlines in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines fly this route over Ukraine. European airlines also use the same route, and traverse the same airspace. In the hours before the incident, a number of other passenger aircraft from different carriers used the same route.
There were no last minute instructions given to the pilots of MH17 to change the route of the flight.
Earlier today, Malaysia Airlines released a statement on the aircraft's service record, which showed the aircraft had a clean bill of health. They have also confirmed that all the aircraft's systems were functioning normally. ACARS and the aircraft's transponders were working and transmitting as normal.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before I take your questions, I would like to reiterate Malaysia's condemnation of any attack on innocent civilians; its support for an independent international investigation; and most of all, its sympathies with those affected by this tragedy.
MH17 was carrying 298 passengers and crew. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at what must be an incredibly difficult time.
9.49 In these photos, members of the Ukrainian Emergency Ministry search for bodies near the site of the plane crash.
9.36 Malaysia's transport minister Liow Tiong says the Ukrainian government said they will create a safe corridor for a Malaysian team to access the crash site.
He says authorities didn't receive any distress signal from the cockpit before the plane disappeared form radars.
The press conference is over.
9.25 Ukraine's separatists say they have found "most" of the recording devices from the plane.
An assistant to the insurgency's military commander, Igor Girkin, says that eight out of the plane's 12 recording devices had been located and they are considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the sprawling crash site.
Earlier the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe said rebels had pledged to provide assistance in the crash probe.
9.22 The Malaysian government voices support for an independent investigation and condemns "any attack on innocent civilians".
Kuala Lumpur says the government has also started an investigation and is sending a team to Kiev.
9.16 Malaysia Airlines is holding a press conference.
9.10 Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Russia's response to the downing has been "deeply, deeply unsatisfactory" and calls of independent inquiry to be launched.
At least 28 Australians died in the crash, which US intelligence officials say was caused by a surface-to-air missile that shot the plane down.
The initial response of the Russian ambassador was to blame Ukraine for this and I have to say that is deeply, deeply unsatisfactory.
I want to say to the Australian people that as far as I am concerned, when you have a situation where Russian-backed rebels appear to have killed Australians using it may well turn out to be Russian-supplied heavy weaponry, Australia takes a very dim view indeed and we want the fullest possible investigation."
it's very important that we don't allow Russia to prevent an absolutely comprehensive investigation so that we can find out exactly what happened here."
"This is not an accident, it's a crime. And criminals should not be allowed to get away with what they've done. So there has to be a full, impartial international investigation and Russia should certainly not be allowed to stand in the way of that."
8.57 Malaysia Airlines says three infants were among the victims of the crash and publishes an updated list of list of passengers and crew according to nationality.
The company says some of the nationalities of the passengers are yet to be determined and they are in the process of notifying the next-of-kin of the passengers and crew.
|Malaysia||43 (including 15 crew & 2 infants)|
|Indonesia||12 (including 1 infant)|
8.45 Malaysia Airlines tweets:
8.32 British PM David Cameron is to hold a meeting of the government's emergency committee Cobra in response to the downing of MH17.
Nine Britons were on board the Boeing 777.
8.30 Ukrainian aviation authorities close airspace over the restive eastern regions.
Malaysia Airlines also said that it has changed the route it planes will take on flights to and from Europe.