The Donetsk region government said Thursday's plane crashed near a village called Grabovo, which it said is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists. The region where theflight was lost has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent days.
A launcher similar to the Buk missile system was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday.
"The forces of Donetsk Peoples Republic assumed control of A-1402 military base," the militia's representative said. According to him, it is an anti-aircraft missile forces facility equipped with Buk mobile surface-to-air missile systems.