Ukraine Releases Recording of Militants Allegedly Discussing Downing of Malaysian Plane

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A still from a YouTube video of a recording that Ukrainian security services claim is of militants discussing the downed plane. YouTube

Security forces in Ukraine have released recordings which they claim are intercepted calls between pro-Russian militants and a Russian intelligence officer admitting to shooting down shortly after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed near the village of Chornukhine, Ukraine.

According the Ukrainian security agency the SBU, one of the recordings is of a call between a separatist commander and Igor Bezler, who they claim is a Russian intelligence officer, intercepted about 20 minutes after the crash, in which the miliant tells Bezler they have shot down a plane. A further call, about 40 minutes later, between two militants nicknamed 'Major', who is apparently at the scene where some debris has fallen, and 'Greek' features a conversation in which they begin to realise that the plane was a passenger jet. According to a translation of the transcript by the Kyiv Post, 'Major' is heard to say: "It is 100% a passeger aircraft", and admits that there are no weapons at the scene. When asked if there are any documents, he says: " Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson."

In a third recording which the SBU claims is between Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin and an unidentified militant, the militant says that the plane carries Malaysian Airlines logo and says: "There are lots of corpses of women and children." In an extended version of the recording, posted by the New York Times, the Cossack commander tells the militant the plane was carrying spies. "Fuck them, got it?" he says.

Newsweek was unable to verify the authenticity of the recording. Below is a version of the video released by the SBU on their YouTube channel with English translation.

Below is the transcript of the conversations, as translated by the Kyiv Post:

Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).

Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?

IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.

VG: How many minutes ago?

IB: About 30 minutes ago.

SBU comment: After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.

"Major": These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

"Grek": Yes, Major.

"Major": The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first "200" (code word for dead person). We have found the first "200". A Civilian.

"Greek": Well, what do you have there?

"Major": In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.

"Greek": Are many people there?

"Major": Holy shit! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).

"Greek": What kind of aircraft?

"Major": I haven't ascertained this. I haven't been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

"Greek": Is there anything left of the weapon?

"Major": Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

"Greek": Are there documents?

"Major": Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.

Militant: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It's a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.

They say on TV it's AN-26 transport plane, but they say it's written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine's territory?

Nikolay Kozitsin: That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn't be fucking flying. There is a war going on.