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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
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.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs