Separatist leader 'boasts of downing plane in Ukraine'

A separatist leader claimed on social media his men had shot down an aircraft in eastern Ukraine shortly before reports emerged of a passenger plane crashing in the area, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reports.

Igor Girkin wrote on Russia's largest social media site this afternoon: "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26 [a transport plane used by Ukrainian military].

"It is lying somewhere in the Progress Mine. We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured."

The post also included two videos that showed black smoke billowing in the distance.


Investigators to examine second black box from MH17

Air investigators are to examine a second black box which was recovered from flight MH17 today. The data could reveal if the pilots were aware of a missile coming towards the plane and what happened in the last few seconds of the flight if they were able to speak.