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Senior U.S. officials now admit that the Malaysian airlines passenger plane was likely accidentally shot down.
The Russian government claims Ukrainian fighter jets were flying very close to Malaysian Flight 17 when it was shot down.
Eyewitness interviews by BBC Russia lend weight to these allegations:
Eyewitness #1: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.
Eyewitness #2: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.
Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].
A local pro-Russian commander says that Ukrainian fighter jets routinely hid behind civilian airplanes, and then dropped bombs on the Russian separatists (also via BBC):
They use these civilian aircraft to hide behind them. It is only now that they stopped flying over us – but, usually, civilian aircraft would always fly above us. And they hide [behind them]. [The experience in] Slavyansk had demonstrated that they would fly out from behind a civilian aircraft, bomb away, and then hide, once again, behind the civilian aircraft and fly away.
He made the statement after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.
However, a Youtube video made a month before Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down also alleges that Ukranian fighter jets were hiding behind passenger planes, pulling away temporarily, dropping bombs on Ukrainian separatists, and then hiding again behind the plane (minor corrections of spelling and punctuation):
Terrible things are happening. For example, an incident that happened recently: passenger plane was flying by, and Ukrainian attack aircraft hid behind it. Then he lowered his altitude a bit and dropped bombs on residential sector of Semenovka town. Then he regained the altitude and hid behind the passenger plane again. Then he left.
They wanted to provoke the militia to shoot at the passenger plane. There would be a global catastrophe. Civilians would have died.
Then they would say that terrorists here did it. There are no terrorists here. There are regular people here that came out in defense of their own city.
Further investigation is needed ...