Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
Pictured above: A damaged Malaysia Airlines guide at the crash site
When: July 2014
Where: near Hrabove, Ukraine
In the February of 2014, a crisis in Crimea began when Russian military troops led by Putin began to annex the Ukrainian territory. Ukraine was extremely politically vulnerable at the time after a short revolution consisting of protests, shootings, and riots.
The annexation ended in late March but left behind many pro-Russian separatists with access to Russian military weapons. By then, many airlines had already changed flight paths to avoid flying over Crimea and the south-east area of Ukraine. Neither of those areas included the future crash site of MH17.
Three days before, a Ukrainian air force transport plane flying at over 21,000 feet was shot down. It was claimed via social media that it’d been shot down with a Buk missile launcher - the same missile found to have later crashed MH17. U.S. officials soon suggested that the missile had been fired from within Russian territory.
Two days before, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski warned people of the danger of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and their use of ground-to-air missiles.
Just one day before MH17 crashed, another Ukrainian air force was shot down. It was alleged by the Ukrainian government that Russian militants were responsible.
Flight and crash
On Thursday, 17 July 2014, 283 passengers and 15 crew boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 at Amsterdam Airport from approximately 11 AM to 12 PM. The flight left the gate at 12:13 PM and departed at 12:31 PM.
The aeroplane flew over Germany and Poland before entering Ukrainian airspace. The following are photographs taken on the flight.
While flying over the region of Donetsk, Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a group of pro-Russian separatists who assumedly mistook the commercial passenger plane for a plane belonging to the Ukrainian air force.
All 298 people onboard died within ninety seconds of the hit. 57 of those passengers were children. Three of them were infants.