A Malaysian passenger plane has crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.

Russian news agency Interfax reported that the Malaysia Airlines MH17 Boeing 777 crashed in Ukraine's restive eastern region, near where government forces are fighting pro-Russian insurgents.

Some 295 people were said to be on board the Boeing plane which was reportedly flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The unverified footage here, obtained from social media, shows people looking at a plume of smoke apparently from the Malaysian Airlines plane that crashed in Ukraine.

An adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister claimed the plane was shot down.

Interfax quoted a separate source in the Ukrainian security apparatus as saying that the plane disappeared from radar at a height of 10,000 metres and came down near the town of Shakhtyorsk.

The incident comes months after Malaysian Airlines fight MH370 mysteriously disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, as it was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.