A new footage emerged on Friday reportedly showing pro-Russian rebels at the scene of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash last year in eastern Ukraine after they realised they had shot down a commercial airliner.
The video exclusively obtained by News Corp Australia shows the Ukrainian insurgents arriving at the site after believing they had had shot down a government fighter jet.
The film recorded their dismay as they minutes later discover the aircraft was a commercial airliner.
On July 17, 2014, 298 passengers and crew including 38 Australian citizens and residents died aboard the Kuala Lumpur bound commercial flight after it was shot down over eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, 40 km from the Russian border.
The new footage was shot by the rebels themselves on a camcorder. The 17-minute long footage smuggled out from the rebels’ own Donetsk base clearly identifies the militia by face.
The video shows how they disturbingly worked around the dismembered bodies of the passengers and crew to rummage through their belongings to find things of value.
A multinational joint investigation team (JIT), made up of police from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, was this week handed the footage by News Corp. They are due to report on all their findings in four months’ time.
The footage has already prompted horrified responses from Australia’s political leaders.
We remember the tragedy and atrocity of MH17, honouring the dead and acknowledging the suffering of their families pic.twitter.com/DVfht8gJ9U
— Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) July 17, 2015
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called it “an atrocity” and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was “sickening to watch”.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed calls for a tribunal to be established, saying it would be counterproductive.