Malaysia Airlines MH17: Attack was 'planned action' by pro-Russian rebels
Debris is pictured at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash, near the village of Grabovo in the Donetsk regionReuters

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Eastern Ukraine on 17 July after apparently being shot down. All 298 people on board were killed.

Timeline of events

MH17 left Amsterdam Airport at 11.14am GMT carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members. The flight-path of the Boeing 777 took the plane east, travelling over Poland before entering Ukrainian airspace.

After it passed Donetsk, it was due to enter Russian airspace. However, the flight lost contact at approximately 2.15 GMT, with Malaysia Airlines confirming that the last known position was over Ukraine. It was due to land in Kuala Lumpur at 6.10am Malaysian time.

Malaysia Airlines MH17 Crash: Facts and FiguresIBTimes UK

When contact was lost, MH17 was flying at an altitude of 10km. Footage showed the plane on fire crashing to the ground about 60km from the Russian boarder – an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Images of the plane began to emerge, with the crash site spanning 15km. Reports then started to emerge that the plane had been shot down by military forces – which one, however, is unknown.

Who shot the plane down?

The Ukrainian government immediately blamed the pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine and Moscow. The security service said it intercepted a call that shows Russia's military intelligence admitting to shooting down the plane – this is unverified.

Russian president Vladimir Putin laid the blame solely with Ukraine, saying its government "bears responsibility for this awful tragedy".

Aleksandr Borodai, the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, denied the group was involved in the plane crash, saying it did not have the military capability to mount such an attack.

What shot down the plane?

A BUK surface-air-missile system similar to the one blamed for shooting down Flight MH17 over Ukrainewikipedia

At present, it is thought a Russian-built Buk missile was used to shoot down the plane, however this has not been confirmed. The Buk missile has a range of up to 25km and was developed in the 1970s by the USSR and has been widely exported over the last 40 years, with Ukrainian forces also said to have used it.

Latest aircraft shot down

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko said this is the third aircraft to have been brought down in the last few days, with the other two being military airplanes that entered restricted airspace. Before MH17 crashed, Igor Girkin, the pro-Russian separatist leader of the Donbass People's Milita, claimed on social media site VK that he had brought down a Ukrainian cargo plane just a few hours before MH17. The post has since been deleted.

The passengers

Glenn Thomas
WHO spokesperson and former BBC journalist Glenn Thomas killed in MH17 crash

At present, casualties include 173 people from the Netherlands, 44, Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine from the UK, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos, one Canadian and one New Zealander. The nationalities of a further 20 passengers are yet to be confirmed.

Among the dead are thought to be 80 children. There were also about 100 AIDS experts travelling to Malaysia to catch a connecting flight to Australia for the annual International AIDS Conference.

The first British victim to be identified is Glenn Thomas, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation and a former BBC journalist.

The black box

The black box of flight MH17 is believed to have been found amongst the rubble and is now being transported to Moscow, Russian media said. Concerns have been raised that the box could have been tampered with after being found and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a press conference that "an international team must have full access to the crash site ... no one should interfere with the area, or move any debris, including the black box".

Global response

malaysia airlines MH17 Ukraine
Armed pro-Russian separatists survey the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crashReuters

World leaders have condemned the crash and are now awaiting a full investigation into the cause of the crash. Putin said: "I want to note that this tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."

Newly-appointed British foreign secretary Philip Hammond has said he is determined to find out what happened to the plane: "This must be resolved by an international investigation to establish the facts of what has happened. We believe the United Nations, particularly the United Nations civil aviation organisation, is the right body to lead that investigation and we will provide it all the support we can, including technical support through the Air Accident Investigation Branch."

Razak said: "We must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone can be left unturned. If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice."