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Ukraine and Russia trade blows over downed Malaysia Airline flight

  • 2014-07-18
  • From wire reports, RIGA

A total of 298 people have died on a Malaysia Airline flight flying over eastern Ukraine (pic source: twitter)

Ukraine has called the downing of a Malaysia airline plane that killed 295 people an "act of terrorism", blaming it on Russia.

Russia has said Ukraine should take responsibility for the disaster and promised a thorough and unbiased investigation.

A total of 298 people died on a Malaysia Airline flight on June 17 after being allegedly shot done down from the sky. The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It fell between Krasni Luch in Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighboring region of Donetsk, the BBC reports.

It is the second disaster suffered by Malaysia Airlines this year after Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Malaysia to China in March. The plane still not been found.

"The Russians are done for. This is an international crime which must be investigated by the international tribunal in The Hague," Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

Ukrainian authorities have released what they say are intercepted phone conversations that proved the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, the BBC reports.

The foreign ministries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have confirmed that none of its citizens were on board the plane.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed the Ukraine government for restarting military operations in the area, where it is trying to regain control from pro-Russian rebels.

"The country in whose airspace this happened bears responsibility for it," he said.

Russia has called for a "thorough and unbiased" investigation, adding that the tragedy also highlighted a need for a swift end to the Ukrainian conflict.

Separatist leader Alexander Borodai also accused the Ukrainian government of downing the airliner.

More to follow