Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

MH17 tragedy: Monitors try to secure Ukraine plane crash site

A man looks for the remains of victims in the debris at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine. (Source: AP) A man looks for the remains of victims in the debris at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine. (Source: AP)
Associated Press | Hrabove | Posted: July 20, 2014 9:58 am | Updated: July 20, 2014 10:06 am

International monitors moved gingerly Saturday through fields reeking of the decomposing corpses that fell from a Malaysian airliner shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine, trying to secure the sprawling site in hopes that a credible investigation can be conducted. But before inspectors ever reach the scene, doubts arose about whether evidence was being compromised. The Ukrainian government and separatist rebels accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the Boeing 777 with almost 300 people aboard. Many see the hand of Russia, either for its suspected support of the insurgents or perhaps for firing the missile itself. The latest U.S. intelligence assessment suggests that more than one missile system was provided to the separatists by the Russians in the last week or so, a U.S. official said Saturday. While there is not 100 percent certainty, the official told The Associated Press, “more and more there is the general belief that the systems were provided by the Russians.” The official said it’s not entirely clear if the separatists just received the missile systems or if they had them for a short time and only in recent days were trained or able to operate them. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The government in Kiev said militiamen had removed 38 bodies from the crash site near the Russian border and taken them to the rebel-held city of Donetsk. It said the remains were transported with help from specialists with distinct Russian accents. The rebels are also “seeking large transports to carry away plane fragments to Russia,” the Ukrainian government said Saturday. In Donetsk, separatist leader Alexander Borodai denied that any bodies had been transferred or that the rebels had in any way interfered with the work of observers. He said he encouraged the involvement of the international community in assisting with the cleanup before the bodies deteriorate further. Ukraine called on Moscow to insist that the pro-Russia rebels grant international experts the ability to conduct a thorough, impartial investigation into the downing of the plane, echoing a demand that President Barack Obama issued a day earlier from Washington. The jet flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur carried 298 passengers and crew from 13 countries. More than half were Dutch. On Saturday, in the village of Hrabove, one body was seen still strapped into an airline seat, with bare toes peeking out under long jeans. Another body was flung face-up into a field of blue flowers. Treatment of the victims’ remains, left in the open air under a hot summer sun punctuated by bursts continued…

comments powered by Disqus
Featured ad: Discount Shopping
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,283 other followers