A new Twitter account is recreating the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, which was shot down over Eastern Ukraine one year ago today. The account, @MH17Live, was launched this morning by Bellingcat, a UK-based investigative news organization. The feed has been recounting last year's crash as it happened, alternating between photos that passengers took prior to taking off and tweets about the Buk missile launcher that investigators say likely brought down the plane.
All 298 passengers died last year after MH17 crashed on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Evidence strongly suggests that the plane was brought down by a Russian anti-aircraft missile, though an investigation led by Dutch authorities won't be completed until the end of this year. Ukraine has accused Russian separatists of firing the missile, while the US and its allies has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for impeding investigations at the site. The Kremlin has blamed the Ukrainian military for firing the missile, though experts have cast doubts on its investigation, saying it was based on Photoshopped images.
The @MH17Live feed offers a chilling recreation of last year's events, with social media posts from the plane's passengers standing out as particularly morbid. Among its tweets is a photo of the plane taken by a Dutch musician, who wrote: "In case we go missing, here's what it looks like."
In an email, Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins said the project was launched in order to "bring together different sources of information about what happened on the ground" and put the crash in its full context.
"Many of the sources we're using were originally posted as events were unfolding, so [we] are as close as we can get to an unfiltered truth, and that information is further confirmed by other sources that show what really was happening," Higgins said. "It's very easy to lose sight of what actually happened when there's so many narratives, so I think by using original sources posted as events unfolded helps bring clarity."