According to reports in the New York Times, Ukrainian officials have released what they claim are transcripts of three separate conversations, purportedly from pro-Russian separatist fighters near the scene of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash. The fighters appear to be taking credit for shooting down the airliner.
In one call, a rebel commander identified as Igor Bezler appears to tell a Russian intelligence official that his troops “shot down a plane” on Thursday.
In another conversation, an unidentified militant is heard telling a Cossack commander called Nikolay Kozitsin that the bodies of women and children were scattered throughout the crash site. During the call, the militant appears to be confused why the plane bears the markings of a commercial flight.
“It has a Malaysia Airlines logo on it, they say,” said the unidentified militant. “What was it doing in Ukraine’s territory?”
To that, Kozitsin is heard responding: “That means they were carrying spies, [expletive] them, got it? They shouldn’t be [expletive] flying. There is a war going on.”
TIME has been unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the transcripts released by Kiev or the identities of those featured.
- Effective Altruism Promises to Do Good Better. These Women Say It Has a Toxic Culture of Sexual Harassment and Abuse
- Inside Bolsonaro's Surreal New Life as a Florida Man—and MAGA Darling
- From Jan. 6 to Tyre Nichols, American Life Is Still Defined by Caste
- As People Return to Offices, It’s Back to Miserable for America’s Working Moms
- The Real Reason Florida Wants to Ban AP African-American Studies, According to an Architect of the Course
- Column: Tyre Nichols' Killing Is The Result of a Diseased Culture
- Without Evusheld, Immunocompromised People Are on Their Own Against COVID-19
- Column: America Goes About Juvenile Crime Sentencing All Wrong
- Why Your Tax Refund May Be Lower This Year