Malaysia Airlines jet with 295 people on board crashed Thursday in the hostile eastern region of Ukraine, near the Russian border, and a Ukrainian government adviser said that it had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Malaysia Airlines said that it lost contact with the plane, Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, about 30 miles from the Russian-Ukrainian border. Photos from the scene showed the blackened wreckage of the plane and bodies scattered in a field.
A report by the Russian news agency Interfax said that the crash Thursday was in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, among the most volatile regions in the world. Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian security forces there for months. [...] Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior minister, said on his Facebook page that the plane was hit by a Russian surface-to-air missile known as a Buk. The type of missile can hit a target far higher than Flight 17 was flying. The Associated Press reported earlier this week that it had seen a Buk system on the ground in a separatist-controlled area of eastern Ukraine.