Months After the MH17 Tragedy, Many Unknowns Remain

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November 19, 2014

It has been roughly four months since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard the plane. While investigators are certain the plane was brought down by a missile, they still are uncertain about a variety of issues related to the crash.

What We Still Don't Know About MH17:

  • The BBC reports that growing evidence supports the theory that the Boeing 777-200ER was hit by a Russian-supplied missile fired by pro-Russian separatists. The Russians claim that the missile was fired by a Ukrainian fighter jet, though the Ukrainian government has denied this and no evidence has been found to support the claim. Still, there is not enough evidence to say definitively whether the missile was Russian.
  • At present there is a "solid case" that the missile was a surface-to-air missile known as a "Buk." According to Interpreter Magazine, there is a theory that the missile was fired just east of Khartsyzsk. This theory is based on a picture released by the Ukrainian government, which shows a smoke trail presumably from the surface-to-air missile originating in that area. Nonetheless, more evidence is needed to definitely conclude where the missile originated from.
  • Officials have indicated that the most likely reason the plane was shot down was that pro-Russian separatists mistook MH17 for another aircraft. Like the other theories listed above, we won't officially know why this happened until the investigation is completed.

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