MH17 crash: Ukraine releases alleged intercepts

Recordings purport to show pro-Russian separatists talking about the downing of a civilian plane

Ukrainian authorities have released what they say are intercepted phone conversations between pro-Russian separatists and what appear to be Russian military officers saying that separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Ukrainian Security Service put the Russian-language conversations on YouTube within hours of the crash.

The veracity of the recordings cannot be confirmed.

First recording

[Male voice, identified as separatist leader Igor Bezler] The group of the Miner [an alias] has just shot down a plane, which came down just behind Yenakiyevo.

[Col Geranin] Pilots. Where are the pilots?

[Bezler] Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It's smoking.

[Second male voice, identified as Russian military intelligence Colonel Vasily Geranin] How many minutes ago?

[Bezler] About 30 minutes ago.

Second recording

[Male voice, captioned as "The Greek" ] Yes, Major.

[Major] Well, the Chernukhino lads shot down the plane.

[Greek] Who shot it down?

[Major] From the Chernukhino roadblock. The Cossacks at Chernukhino.

[Greek] Yes, Major.

[Major] Well, the plane fell apart in the air, near the Pertropavlovskaya coal mine. The first casualty 200 [military jargon for dead body] has been found. A civilian.

[Greek] Well, what do you have there?

[Major] Basically it was 100% a civilian aircraft.

[Greek] Are many people there?

[Major] [Curses] The debris fell right into backyard.

[Greek] What kind of aircraft?

[Major] I have not figured this out yet because I haven't been close to the main body of the debris. I am only looking where the first bodies began to fall. There are the remnants of inner brackets, chairs and bodies there.

[Greek] I see. Any weaponry there?

[Major] Nothing at all. Civilian things, medical bits and bobs, towels, toilet paper.

[Greek] Any documents?

[Major] Yes. From an Indonesian student. From Thompson University [curses].

Third recording

[Male voice, identified as a fighter] Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snezhnoye-Torez. It's a civilian one. Fell down near Grabovo. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this.

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

[Male voice, identified as Cossack commander Nikolai Kozitsyn] That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn't be [curses] flying. There is a war going on.

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