Images have captured what appeared to be a mid-air explosion, clouds of smoke and debris raining down on the ground at the crash site near Ukraine’s border with Russia.
Everybody on board was killed – 15 crew and 283 passengers from 10 different countries.
Separatist rebels in the region and Ukrainian government forces have been fighting each other for months.
And Australia’s prime minister had strong words to say about Russia’s influence.
He said: “The idea that Russia can somehow say that somehow that none of this had anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace, frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.”
The international outcry over the crash is a measure of how the war at the heart of Europe is spilling over its borders.
But will it hasten a resolution to the conflict or deepen wider tensions between Russia and the international community?
Presenter: Mike Hanna publish on aljazeer