The separatists, led by militant Igor Strelkov (Girkin), were going to shoot down a civilian plane, but mistakenly shot down a Boeing that was flying on another flight. This is reported by journalists of the publication GOLOS.EU with reference to
“The thing is, it happened by accident. The real target of the whole operation was a very different Boeing. On that memorable day, a Russian military crew was guarding a non-Malaysian passenger flight. On July 17, 2014, almost at the same time, in the same place, the airspace over the Donetsk region was crossed by the MH-17 and the Russian aircraft of the Aeroflot airline, flying AFL-2074 Moscow-Larnaca (Cyprus). The same civilian Boeing, even with the same color, in the same air corridor: the first flight was at an altitude of about 10000 meters, the second at 11 meters, ”the ex-official noted.
According to him, there are seven settlements with the name Pevomaiskoye in the Donetsk region. Nalyvaychenko believes that the Buk crew made a geographical mistake and arrived in the village. Pervomaisky, over which a Malaysian airliner flew.
According to Nalivaichenko, the crash of a civilian aircraft with Russian citizens on board gave the Kremlin a pretext for a full-scale invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.