Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed to fly at 33,000 feet, two thousand feet lower than the original flight plan and forced MH17 to skim closely to the prohibited air zone —
which is 32,000 feet, according to Europe’s aviation authority Eurocontrol

MH17 flight took a route 300 miles to the north of its usual path:
"But Mr Mark said: "I can only tell you as a commercial pilot myself that if we had been routed that way, with what's been going on in the Ukraine and the Russian border over the last few weeks and months, I would never have accepted that route.
"I went into the FlightAware system, which we all use these days to see where airplanes started and where they tracked, and I looked back at the last two weeks' worth of MH17 flights, which was this one. "And the flight today tracked very, very much further north into the Ukraine than the other previous flights did ... there were MH17 versions that were 300 miles south of where this one was."
Records of recent MH17 flights on the FlightAware appear to bear out Mr Mark's claim, with earlier flights significantly further south than the flight that crashed.

[Twitter feed of Spanish ATC supposedly debunked, but a military escort for a civilian flight diverted over a war zone isn't unusual or unheard of]
MOSCOW, July 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Two Ukrainian fighters were following the passenger Boeing-777 of Malaysian Airlines several minutes before the crash, Russia’s television Channel One said on Friday, citing a tweet made a Spanish air traffic controller of Kiev’s airport Borispol.
According to the Spanish air traffic controller, two Ukrainian fighters had been seen near the Malaysian jet three minutes before it disappeared from radars.
This information is confirmed by eyewitnesses in the Donetsk region who saw Ukrainian warplanes near the passenger jet. They say they heard sounds of powerful blasts and saw a Ukraine warplane shortly before the crash.

Casus belli. The fog of war.
Remember the Maine, the second Gulf of Tonkin incident, Sadaam is buying yellow cake to nuke the free world, and now MH17. The EU has been slow in following the US in tightening of sanctions against Russia. MH17 was used by the Ukrainian government as bait, a lure to be shot down by pro-Russian factions in the hopes of galvanizing Europe and increasing sanctions against Russia, increase weapon sales to the Ukraine and to win this latest round of the propaganda battle.