Flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was flying over the conflict-hit area when it vanished from radar, actually shot down with a missile on July 17. A total of 283 passengers, including some 80 children, and 15 crew members were on board.
The two sides in Ukraine’s civil conflict have accused each other of shooting down the jet with a missile. The conflict started on November 21, 2013 when Ukraine’s then president Viktor Yanukovych pulled out of an association deal with the European Union, instead seeking closer relationships with Russia. His decision sparked long and bloody protest. Conversely, Western Ukraine has always sought closer ties to the EU but the east has a large minority of ethnic Russians and Moscow who seek adherence with Russia.
The US intelligence authorities have confirmed that a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane but it was not yet clear who fired it.
Confirmed death toll so far:
Netherlands: 193 (including one dual Netherlands/US citizen)
Malaysia: 43 (including 15 crew)
UK: 10 (including one dual UK/ South Africa citizen)
New Zealand: 1