(Reuters) - A Malaysian airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels that has set Russia and the West at daggers drawn.
As the United States said the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was “blown out of the sky”, probably by a ground-launched missile, Ukraine and Russia traded accusations of blame, cranking up global pressure for a way out of a bloody local conflict that risks fueling a new Cold War.
Ukraine accused pro-Moscow militants, aided by Russian military intelligence officers, of firing a long-range, Soviet-era SA-11 ground-to-air missile. Leaders of the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic denied any involvement and said a Ukrainian air force jet had brought down the intercontinental flight.
But separatists have said that they took control of such a missile system last month and had used it to shoot down a Ukrainian military transport plane that was destroyed on Monday.