Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: Plane with 298 on board shot down in Ukraine
Australia says “Russian-backed rebels” downed Malaysian plane in Ukraine
Ukraine's state security chief has accused Russian military intelligence officers of involvement with pro-Russian rebels in the downing of the airliner yesterday, but Western leaders have until now been less quick to assign blame.
Abbott blamed anti-Kiev separatists for shooting down the plane during a sombre speech before parliament in which he confirmed that 27 Australian citizens had died in the crash.
"This is a grim day for our country and it's a grim day for our world. Malaysian airlines MH17 has been shot down over the eastern Ukraine, it seems by Russian-backed rebels," he said. – Reuters, July 18, 2014.