The flight manifest carried the names of 23 Americans, but it was not confirmed how many were on board.
The Ukrainian security agency released documents to the Kiev Post showing that the rebels had talked about shooting down the commercial jet. Intercepts showed it was shot down by the “Chernukin” rebel control point.
Associated Press quoted Anto Gerashenko, an adviser to the Kiev interior ministry, saying the plane was hit while flying at 33,000 feet.
It would have been squawking a signal to the ground in the countries it was flying over identifying itself. Eurocontrol closed civilian air space over the eastern Ukraine.
The author had predicted in a story on Allvoices earlier this week that Russia’s arming of rebels in eastern Ukraine had become a threat to world aviation after the separatists shot down several Ukrainian military planes, including one flying at 21,000 feet.
The wreckage was in an area controlled by Russian separatists.The BBC said separatists had tweeted earlier in the morning that they had shot down another Ukrainian plane, before it became known a commercial airliner was hit.
Gerashenko said the passenger plane was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, a Russian weapon.
If the report is confirmed it will step up pressure for sanctions on Russia for failing to control the separatists and trying to stop the new Ukrainian government from consolidating its rule.
Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed that it “has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow,” AP reported.
The plane was a Boeing 777.
Russian TV, a part of the Russian media that has been made servile by Russian , was still occupied Thursday morning with denials that Russia was involved in the shooting down of Ukrainian military planes this week.
The BBC said it was unlikely the jet could have been brought down except by a sophisticated missile working with radar, the kind of equipment only Russia would have in the area where the plane went down.
Russia has twice shot down airliners, both operated by Korean Airlines. Both were off course. Russian jets could see that they were commerical airliners but shot them down anyway.