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 VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs