News / Europe

MH17 Victims' Remains Arrive in Netherlands

  • The convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 drives past international flags as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum, July 23, 2014.
  • King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and officials look at the convoy of hearses with the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 as it leaves Eindhoven airport to a military base in Hilversum, J
  • Flowers and a teddy bear are placed in front of a plane prior a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Eindhoven military air base, July 23, 2014.
  • Coffins of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine are loaded into hearses during a national reception ceremony at Eindhoven Airport, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
  • Honor guards take part in a ceremony for the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 before they are loaded on a transport plane heading to the Netherlands, at Kharkiv Airport, Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
  • Ukrainian honor guards lift up a coffin containing the body of a Malaysian Airlines plane passenger to load it on a Dutch cargo plane, in Kharkiv Airport, Ukraine, July 23, 2014.
  • Honor guards carry a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 before loading it on a transport plane heading to the Netherlands, at Kharkiv Airport, July 23, 2014. 
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tables an emergency motion to condemn the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, July 23, 2014. 
  • Dutch flags fly half-staff in honor of citizens who were among the victims of flight MH17, in Delft, Netherlands, July 23, 2014.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama signs the book of condolence for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster at the Embassy of the Netherlands, as Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Mollema watches, Washington, July 22, 2014.
Al Pessin

The first of the caskets bearing the bodies of victims of the Malaysian airliner were flown to the Netherlands for identification.  At a short, solemn ceremony in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Dutch diplomat Hans Docter addressed the victims directly.
 
"Today your journey home begins. It will still be a long journey. We have a painful identification process to go through that will take time.”
 
More than half the people on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch citizens, and the Netherlands is leading the international investigation.
 
(A complete list of the passsengers aboard MH17)

Most of the bodies delivered to Kharkiv by train on Tuesday are still being processed there and will go to the Netherlands on later flights.  Officials cast doubt on initial reports the rebels in eastern Ukraine sent all 298 bodies, or at least parts of them.
 
Rebel fighters control the site, and it is not clear whether local officials would be allowed to resume the search.  International investigators have been kept out, except for three Dutch experts.

U.S. officials say the plane was probably brought down by pro-Russian separatists firing a Russian surface-to-air missile.  They say that "ill trained" rebels likely shot down the plane by mistake.
 
Meanwhile, Britain says it has taken delivery of two flight data recorders from the plane, and the International Committee of the Red Cross says it is ready to help facilitate movements of specialists to the site, which is still under rebel control. The Red Cross also has sent a representative to Ukraine to discuss the effects of the conflict on the citizens of eastern Ukraine.

Dutch Safety Board takes over investigation 

The Dutch Safety Board said on Wednesday it had taken charge of an international investigation into the crash last week.

In a statement, the authority said it would coordinate a team of 24 investigators from Ukraine, Malaysia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia and the International Civil Aviation Organization. It said four Dutch investigators were operating in Ukraine.

The authority said it would look at whether the Boeing 777's black box flight data recorders had been tampered with. It said it would also conduct separate investigations into the decision-making processes behind flight routes and the availability of passenger lists.

Victims' bodies

There was confusion about how many bodies from the Malaysian airliner crash were collected for transport to the Netherlands.  Pro-Russian rebels said Monday that they had released 282 bodies and the parts of 16 others.  But Dutch forensics officials said the refrigerated rail cars used to transport them away from the crash site contained only 200 bodies.   

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday some of the victims may have been left behind at the crash site. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in televised comments Wednesday that Ukraine will allow the Netherlands to head the crash investigation.

"We are delegating the investigation into this air crash to the Netherlands to provide a completely independent and transparent process," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte agreed Tuesday during a telephone call that the priority must be on securing the crash site to allow for a full and transparent investigation. They also agreed that the European Union and the United States must remain united over events in the Ukraine. Both the EU and the U.S. have slapped sanctions on Moscow for its role in backing the separatists.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Tuesday to do everything in his power to influence separatists controlling the crash site to allow a full investigation into the disaster.  But he said such efforts would be inadequate without additional pressure on Kyiv to end the hostilities.

Ukrainian jets shot down

Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down over eastern Ukraine Wednesday, as fighting intensified in the same area where a Malaysian passenger jet with 298 people on board was shot down last week.

Details remained sketchy Wednesday, as rebels claimed responsibility.  Ukraine's Defense Ministry said the fighter pilots were thought to have ejected near the Russian border, as military operations against pro-Russian separatists advanced in the region.

Ukraine and Western intelligence agencies say rebels shot down the Malaysia Airlines plane last week from a much higher altitude, but the Russian-supplied system they used was returned to Russia.
 
Although Lysenko said the missiles that hit the fighter jets came from across the border in Russia, he said he was not making an accusation.  He said his statement was based on “preliminary data,” and is only one theory of what might have happened.  He promised to provide further evidence as the investigation continues.
 
Lysenko also claimed Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian drone over rebel-held territory.

Washington has accused Moscow of supplying the rebels with weaponry and training.
 
EU sanctions
 
EU foreign ministers decided Tuesday to draw up a list of increased sanctions against Russia, in an effort to convince it to stop supporting the separatists and help convince them to give international investigators access to the Malaysia Airlines wreckage.
 
But the plan does not go as far as some ministers had wanted, and Ukrainian spokesman Lysenko says sanctions have not had an impact.
 
Lysenko said the main indicator of the sanctions' effectiveness will be seen when Russian troops stop firing at Ukrainian forces across the border.  He said cross-border shelling is nearly constant at night in some areas.  He also accused Russian forces of staging high-speed moves toward the border as if they are going to invade, and then turning away just before crossing.
 
But he says the Ukrainian military is making good progress in areas farther from the Russian border, significantly shrinking the territory the rebels control in recent days.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Fellow sufferer from: Southeastasis
July 24, 2014 12:09 AM
The International Court of Justice and the United Nations must do their utmost now to find and arrest the murderers of the innocent lives of MH 17. This can help bring some comfort of the sense of justice for the souls of the murdered and their loved ones.

by: Igor from: Smolensk
July 23, 2014 9:57 AM
It's interesting why do they all accuse Russia? The investigation has not actually started yet, but the conclusion has already been drawn! And no facts, - just emotions. At least it is not fair! But maybe they live and work like this in the so-called civilized word?
In Response

by: william li from: canada
July 23, 2014 2:50 PM
do worry, we chinese always support Russia. my Russian brother.

west media is always biased.

by: Rod from: Netherlands
July 23, 2014 8:57 AM
Russians are crazy! In 21th century Nazism speaks Russian!

by: Rod from: Netherlands
July 23, 2014 8:26 AM
EU betrayed Ukraine and Netherlands. USA does much more and imposed tougher sanctions on aggressor,on Russia. I think Germany,France and Italy are still reluctant to impose severe sanctions on Russia! They are waiting for when Russia invades Ukraine,Baltic! EU has no future since Russia,country of drunkens can remark cordons in 21 century! Just on its own! I really don't want to buy BMW,because buying BMW I approve Germany and it approve Russia!

by: RAJESH SAWHNEY from: INDIA. J&K JAMMU
July 23, 2014 8:22 AM
THIS IS UNFORTUNATE WITH WORLD ( MALAYSIA AIR LINE) THE AMERICA PRESIDENT SHOULD TAKE STRONG STEPS AGAINST RUSSIA IF ANY HELP BY THEM

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs