After flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian and Pro-Russian separatist authorities looked for someone to blame. Now, the Ukrainian security chief has accused two Russian intelligence officers of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 based on phone intercepts, according to Reuters.
One of the three alleged phone calls was made 20 minutes after the plane crash by Igor Bezler, a pro-Russian separatist and rebel commander. The security agency said he called his “coordinator” Vasyl Mykolaiovych Geranin, whom the SBU claims is a colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence apparatus.
“We have just shot down a plane. That was miner’s group. It feel down outside Yenakievo,” Bezler allegedly told Geranin. “The plane broke into pieces in the air, close to Petropavlovskaya mine. There is the first two-hundreth (sic) dead, we have found the first two–hundredth (sic). It’s a civilian.”
The second conversation was apparently between pro-Russia militants named “Major” and “Greek,” confirming that it was a Malaysia Airlines Plane. The third is between Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin and an unnamed militant. Kozitsin believes a plane flying over Eastern Ukraine "means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on."
The calls are still unverified, but this isn’t the first time the SBU has been accused of spying. In 2004, a former member of the intelligence agency accused it of spying on politicians and officers, even some overseas.
After the Malaysia Airlines flight en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot down, killing all 295 people on board, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister said on Facebook that “terrorists” were to blame. Ukrainian officials often use the term “terrorist” to describe pro-Russian separatists.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed on his website earlier on Thursday that the "Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky.”
Read the full transcript, translated by the Security Service of Ukraine:
Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. That was “miner’s group. 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 sh__t! 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 (a Cossack commander): That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on.