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Ukraine, Russia blame each other for downed airliner

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 02:02

Muscovites speculate on what downed the Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, as Ukrainian officials place blame squarely on Russia. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Ukraine and Russia trade accusations over the Malaysia Airliner that crashed in Ukraine Thursday. Each side is pointing the finger at the other. The plane was shot down in an area held by pro-Russian separatists. All 298 people on board were killed. On Friday, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Spokesman denies Ukrainian responsibility. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE COUNCIL SPOKESMAN, ANDRIY LYSENKO, SAYING: "We underscore that the anti-terrorist operation forces did not perform any activities aiming at targets in the air. An inventory of anti-aircraft missile complexes and anti-aircraft missiles located on Ukrainian territory was fulfilled. All missiles are on hand. Ukrainian aviation did not operate at the site where the airplane crashed. It even does not work at such an altitude." Ukraine says pro-Russian militants -- aided by Russian military intelligence officers -- fired a long range ground-to-air missile. But on the streets of Moscow, many residents have a different view. Anastasia thinks Russia can't be at fault since the crash happened over Ukrainian territory. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, ANASTASIA, SAYING: "It clearly didn't fall for no reason. Ukraine made a statement. I think they said pretty recently that all the planes that fly below 7 km would all be hit by shelling. That's it." Alexander agrees. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, ALEXANDER, 28, SAYING: "I think these are Ukrainians after all. At least considering the flight's altitude, I doubt that a shoulder-carried missile launcher could reach 10 km. I don't think this was done from Russian territory." Russian President Vladimir Putin blames Ukraine for renewing an offensive against rebels two weeks ago after a ceasefire collapsed. He urged an "unbiased" inquiry. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

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Ukraine, Russia blame each other for downed airliner

Friday, July 18, 2014 - 02:02