News / Europe

MH17 Crash Investigators Hampered by Fighting in Ukraine

MH17 Crash Investigators Hampered by Fighting in Ukrainei
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 27, 2014 10:21 PM
A team of international crash investigators and police officers was forced to cancel a visit to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane Sunday in eastern Ukraine. Heavy fighting has been reported between government forces and rebels close to the area where Flight MH17 came down ten days ago. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from Kyiv.
Henry Ridgwell

A team of international crash investigators and police officers was forced to cancel a visit to the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane Sunday in eastern Ukraine.  Heavy fighting has been reported between government forces and rebels close to the area where Flight MH17 came down ten days ago.

The team of international police officers from the Netherlands and Australia had been due to visit to the crash site Sunday.

But they were confined to their hotel in the regional capital, Donetsk.  Alexander Hug, deputy chief of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said that going there was too dangerous.

“The site itself appears to be not safe, we will not risk our unarmed civilian observer mission to deploy to a site where we cannot control the risk to a degree where we are confident we have it at the level where it is acceptable,” said Hug.

Ukraine and its Western allies say Russian-backed separatists downed the plane with a surface-to-air missile. The rebels, and Moscow, deny involvement.

Earlier, Malaysia - whose flag carrier Malaysia Airlines owned the downed Boeing - said it had struck a deal with the separatists to allow an unarmed police force to secure the site.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott explained his country’s role in the policing mission.

“Our whole and sole purpose is to claim our dead and bring them home as quickly as we can, and that is what this next phase of 'Operation Bring Them Home' is all about,” said Abbott.

That operation is complicated further as fighting intensifies between government forces and pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine’s army appears to have gained momentum - retaking control of territory from the pro-Russia separatists.  Their latest victory was in the town of Lysychansk, about 100 kilometers north of the crash site.

There, local residents are becoming weary of the conflict.

Walking her infant daughter through the rubble-strewn main street, a mother complained that all she could buy was soap.  Nothing works, she said. There is no electricity, and banks are closed.

The fighting is edging closer to the center of the key rebel-held city of Donetsk.  Roads out of the city are jammed as residents flee the conflict.

Visiting Ukraine's National Guard training base Saturday, President Petro Poroshenko said his forces had the firepower to defeat the rebels.

"The Ukrainian Army has been reborn in these last two months, and today we can confirm the soldiers are liberators who are freeing Ukrainian cities and villages from occupation,” said Poroshenko.

In the midst of the conflict, teams of investigators are trying to forensically piece together the final moments of flight MH17. So far their progress is frustratingly slow. 

You May Like

Video Biden Attends Services at Emanuel AME

Biden said he came to Sunday’s services because he and his family wanted to show solidarity with the families and the church More

Diverse Nation

Here's why minorities could become the US majority sooner than expected More

Rush of Same-Sex Marriages Follows US Supreme Court Ruling

But swift backlash from conservative groups foreshadows battles ahead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 29, 2014 1:33 AM
Glory to Ukraine!

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 28, 2014 1:32 AM
It is absolutely unsafe and unsecure for more human beings to go onto a site, that is in the middle of a war, in which dastardly criminals have killed almost 300 innocent human beings. What is not to say, that the same dastardly criminals will not fire a large ground to ground rocket and kill/maim these valiant investigators, and try to put the blame on their adversaries? Those that are placing this human beings in harms way, in the range of dastardly criminals, have in my view lost their good common sense.
For what purpose more lives are being risked AT THIS TIME? the one that comes to mind, is blind stupidity! We have all seen the news clips with the rear fuselage inward, streched metal, going perforations.....

by: Richard M from: North Carolina
July 27, 2014 8:36 PM
The dead are not going to get any deader because the investigation is delayed. However, suspending hostilities while under active artillery fire from the Russian side of the border places Ukrainian troops in danger all of the time. The longer the wait the more troops die. For this reason I perfectly understand why the Ukrainians want to roll up the battlefield as quickly as possible.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs