News / Europe

In Ukraine, Shelling Disrupts MH17 Probe

Australian experts examine the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site near Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014.
Australian experts examine the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site near Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014.
VOA News

Fresh fighting Saturday around the site of a Malaysian airliner that crashed more than two weeks ago in eastern Ukraine hampered an international team of experts searching for human remains there.

About 70 Dutch and Australian investigators had resumed work for a second straight day when shelling disrupted the cease-fire between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists. It interrupted the search in at least one part of the vast site, stretching 20 square kilometers or eight square miles, scattered with wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. All 298 people aboard were killed in the July 17 crash.

President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.
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President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.

"The artillery impact was very loud and the ground was shaking," Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe mission in Ukraine, was quoted by the French news service AFP.

He estimated the artillery hit about two kilometers away, close enough for investigators to decide to leave that area.

Two sniffer dogs deployed near the main debris site helped investigators recover some remains, AFP reported. It noted officials there said the site examination could take three weeks.

The search team was also able to find more personal belongings Saturday.

More than 220 coffins have been returned to the Netherlands, which lost 193 citizens.

Obama, Putin continue talks

On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama said he spoke by telephone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to say the United States remains deeply concerned about Moscow's increased support for separatists in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said he'd discussed his preference for a diplomatic solution with the Russian leader. However, Obama said there were limits to what the United States could do after imposing economic sanctions and visa bans on some of Putin's allies.

"Right now what we've done is impose sufficient costs on Russia that, objectively speaking, they should ... want to resolve this diplomatically, [to] get these sanctions lifted — get their economy growing again and have good relations with Ukraine.

"But sometimes people don't always act rationally and they don't always act based on their medium- or long-term interests," Obama said. "That can't deter us though. We just have to stay at it."

 

White House officials said the two leaders "agreed to keep open their channels of communication."

Russian officials said Putin told the U.S. president that fresh sanctions imposed on Russia for its support for the separatists were "counterproductive" and would cause "serious damage to bilateral cooperation and international stability."

Ukraine and Western governments blame rebels for the shootdown of the Boeing 777. U.S. analysts have said the jetliner likely was downed by pro-Russian separatists who mistook the jetliner for a Ukrainian military aircraft and launched a Russian missile.

Rebels intent on establishing autonomous republics near the Russian border have been battling Ukrainian troops for three months.

  • Australian and Dutch experts examine pieces of the Malaysia Airlines plane, in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014. 
  • Australian and Dutch experts examine a piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug.1, 2014. 
  • Members of the OSCE mission to Ukraine examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014. 
  • Australian investigators examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014. 
  • Australian investigators examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014. 
  • Australian experts examine the area of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014. 
  • A Dutch policeman, who is a member of a group of international experts, visits the site where the Malaysia Airlines plane crashed, near the village of Hrabove, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 1, 2014.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comments
     
by: deathstroke from: usa
August 03, 2014 11:33 AM
Obama thinks Putin's long term interest are playing by America's rules. That interesting. I would think distancing yourself and your economy from a nation so far in debt (and shows no interest in fiscal responsibility) would be in a Putin's long-run interest. Putin is preparing for the fall of America, and Europe.

by: Dr what from: the Pentagon
August 03, 2014 8:22 AM
this wreckage is not infact MH 17 , but the missing MH 370. look it up, the evidence is very compelling.

by: Dave from: USA
August 02, 2014 3:55 PM
You have a nice headline there... "In Ukraine, Shelling Disrupts MH17 Probe".

Another sound byte you have is also nice... "shelling disrupted the cease-fire between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists."

Now why don't you also tell us WHO DID THE SHELLING.

The only shelling that is going on is by the Ukrainian military, and they are shelling towns and villages, killing innocent people. The elderly, the women, the children, all dead.

Some had their limbs blown off, some had their head severed by shrapnel, some had half of the head blown off. Schools, hospitals, elderly residences and apartments are getting destroyed by Ukrainian military. Yet the US and EU continue to supply weapons to Ukraine to continue their massacre of innocent people.

Here, see it for yourself. Search for "Ukraine death and destruction" and choose youtube or whatever site you get in search results.

by: ak from: usa
August 02, 2014 3:29 PM
United States also have interest in Ukraine
That set whole bunch of things in motion
So actually its a fight between US and Russia
At expense of Ukrainian people ..so who is evil? The country that starts support certain people in that country that would be US and Russia

by: fau from: nz
August 02, 2014 2:21 PM
It is sad that some people do not value life and loss of life to achieve selfish goals

by: Der from: Germany
August 02, 2014 9:06 AM
We should use Russia 's gas as little as possible. We give money to evil who later or sooner will kill us with nuclear weapons!!!!
In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 8:44 PM
I would think that you,being from Germany, the ancestry on my father's side of the family, would be more concerned with the Svoboda Neo-Nazi Social -National Party of the Ukraine,who have key positions in the Ukrainian parliament and, according to the article in Huffington Post Politics on March 11th, 2014,"The Neo- Nazi Question in the Ukraine," fly the old Ukrainian Nazi collaborators' flag at their rallies, wear the wolf's angel rune Waffen-SS panzer division symbol, declared criminal at Nuremberg, and 2 Ukrainian parliament members were seen on BBC Channel 4 in March giving the Heil Hitler numbers.

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