Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Update: UN Security Council Calls for International Investigation

( [email protected] ) Jul 18, 2014 06:47 PM EDT
Malaysia Airline MH17 Crash in Ukraine
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

The Security Council of the United Nations convened recently and called for an international investigation of the crash involving Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Rescue workers have found 181 bodies in eastern Ukraine fields where the passenger plane was shot down on Thursday by what was believed to be a surface-to-air missile. While the Russian separatists, the Ukrainian military, and the Russian military each deny being involved in the attack, President Barack Obama has suggested that the rebels are likely to blame.

The Boeing 777 passenger plane is thought to have exploded in the air after being struck by a surface-to-air missile from an area of eastern Ukraine that is believed to be controlled by Russian separatists. More than half of the 298 passengers on board flight MH17 were of Dutch origin, and one American is confirmed to have been on board thus far. Passengers consisted of students, vacationers, and a large group of scientists who were headed to an AIDS conference in Australia.

Fox News reports that a phone call between Russian separatists and the Russian military reveals that the rebels are likely to have shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17. "We have just shot down a plane," a man who is believed to be Russian military intelligence officer Igor Bezler can be heard saying in a phone call twenty minutes after flight MH17 had crashed. A subsequent phone call recorded between Russian men using aliases of "Major" and "Greek" confirmed that the debris was of a passenger plane and identified the check point where the plane was shot down.

"These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino," "Major" can be heard saying - "The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine ... It was 100 percent a passenger aircraft."

ABC News reports that President Obama has called for an immediate cease-fire in the Ukrainian region, as has Russian president Vladimir Putin. Although U.S. intelligence officials have not found a decisive link between the Russian military and the missile that was fired on Thursday, President Obama said during his address that they had been supplying the Russian separatists with anti-aircraft weapons. What's more, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says that the rebels would likely have needed assistance from Russian personnel in order to launch such a sophisticated missile.

The Security Council of the United Nations has since called for an independent international investigation.