News / Europe

    Australia Seeks to Secure MH17 Crash Site in Ukraine

    Malaysian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, examine a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
    Malaysian investigators along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine, examine a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Petropavlivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
    VOA News

    Australia has sent 50 police officers to London in anticipation of deploying them to eastern Ukraine to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a proposed international team.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott said foreign ministers from Australia and The Netherlands will go to Kyiv to iron out the details of deploying such a team, under U.N. authority, to secure the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, two more planes are due to take off from Ukraine for the Netherlands, carrying dozens more victims of the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 last week.  All 298 people on board were killed.

    Who downed MH17?

    Earlier Thursday, Russia called on the United States to prove that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.  Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov asked the U.S. to produce proof that it has technical data and satellite photos to back the accusation.

    U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that a Russian SA-11 "Buk" missile downed the aircraft and that ill-trained rebels likely fired the missile believing the aircraft was Ukrainian.

    Black boxes intact

    Meanwhile, investigators have found no evidence that either of the plane's two black boxes were tampered with, the Dutch Safety Board, which is coordinating the probe, said.

    In a statement Thursday, the Board said the data from the Boeing 777's flight data recorder had been successfully downloaded by investigators at Britain's Air Accident Investigation Branch.

    World leaders had expressed concern that the black boxes, which could contain information critical for reconstructing what brought down the airliner, may have been tampered with by rebels controlling the region in which the aircraft crashed last week.

    • Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans (right) speaks to the media while a Dutch military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves Ukraine for the Netherlands, July 25, 2014.
    • Netherlands Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, right, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speak to each other as a Dutch military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves Ukraine, July 25, 2014.
    • A Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce (right) and a Royal Australian Air Force Boeing C-17 are seen at an airstrip before transporting some of the remains of the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 airliner, at Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, July 25, 2014.
    • An Australian military cargo plane with bodies of some of the passengers of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner leaves for the Netherlands from Kharkiv airport, Ukraine, July 25, 2014. 
    • Shoppers take photos next to prayer notes for passengers aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, July 24, 2014.
    • Children walk past a piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines jet downed over Ukraine, in Petropavlivka village, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
    • People attend a silent remembrance for the victims in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in Amsterdam,  July 23, 2014.
    • King Willem-Alexander, left, Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, right, observe a minute of silence during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Eindhoven, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
    • People pay their respects as a convoy of hearses, bearing remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash, drive past in Hilversum, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.


    Long wait for Malaysian remains

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Thursday it might take “weeks or months” before remains of his compatriots who perished in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine can be brought home.

    Malaysia, a majority Muslim country, had initially sought to have the remains returned by July 28 for Hari Raya, also known as Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

    Forty-three Malaysians died aboard flight MH17 operating from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, including 15 crew.

    “We cannot avoid a very painstaking process. This is both the technical requirement and the legal requirement,” Najib told reporters after signing a condolences book at the Dutch Embassy.

    “Therefore it is highly unlikely that the bodies can be brought back in time for Hari Raya.”

    Identification process

    Two aircraft carrying remains of some of the passengers arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday, where experts will work to identify them with DNA samples collected from relatives. The process could take months.

    The remains of the victims will be brought over the next few days to a military base in the Dutch town of Hilversum. 

    Tens of thousands of mourners in the Netherlands held memorial services and ceremonies, as the first bodies from Flight MH17 arrived in the country on Wednesday. Of the victims, 193 were Dutch.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

    Error rendering storify.

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Peter Watson from: Dallas,Texas
    July 24, 2014 8:08 AM
    Most of our countries are angry at what has happened; but why is Australia becoming the most outspoken of all our countries & governments? I mean; It has no dead in this tragedy. So; why she seem more outraged (more catholic than the pope) than say Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom or America & Malaysia; whom citizens were the affected. What is the politics behind the Australian PM leading the effort to make Russia accountable for what has happened?
    In Response

    by: Ryan
    July 24, 2014 9:06 PM
    Peter, Australia lost 28. More than the US (1), Canada (1) and UK (10) combined

    by: Wycliffe from: Nairobi
    July 24, 2014 6:13 AM
    Yah! Good...good for your "deliberate actions" indeed it's a good/upright decision/plan/idea BUT you've to be wise.Send your men also in a "Plus mission"-learn from around, how to dismantle these foes.This be according to me, if I were in your position.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.