News / USA

Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes to Malaysia

A pro-Russian fighter places a black box from the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on a table while handing it over from Donetsk People's Republic officials to Malaysian representatives in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 22, 2014. Senior Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Boroda, (wearing a blue jacket) stands off to the right.
A pro-Russian fighter places a black box from the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on a table while handing it over from Donetsk People's Republic officials to Malaysian representatives in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, July 22, 2014. Senior Ukrainian separatist leader Aleksander Boroda, (wearing a blue jacket) stands off to the right.
VOA News

A senior separatist leader, Aleksander Borodai, handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts in the city of Donetsk in the early hours of Tuesday.

“Here they are, the black boxes,” Borodai told a room packed with journalists at the headquarters of his self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic as an armed rebel placed the boxes on a desk.

Both sides then signed a document, which Borodai said was a protocol to finalize the procedure after lengthy talks with the Malaysians.

“I can see that the black boxes are intact, although a bit damaged. In good condition,” Colonel Mohamed Sakri of Malaysian National Security Council said in extending his thanks to “His Excellency Mr. Borodai” for passing on the recorders.

Borodai also said a train carrying the remains of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash has reached Donetsk. It is on its way to Kharkiv, some 300 km (186 miles) northwest.

The Malaysian experts and a Dutch delegation also on site in Donetsk will travel along with it, he said. 

U.N. Security Council resolution

The U.N. Security Council on Monday afternoon unanimously passed a resolution condemning the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet and demanded that pro-Russian separatists controlling the crash site allow investigators unrestricted accesss to the area.

Council member Australia, which had 37 nationals aboard the flight, drafted the resolution. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop traveled to New York for the vote. She said Russia, which backs the separatists, must use its influence to ensure the resolution is implemented.

"We must have answers; we must have justice. We owe it to the victims and families to determine what happened and who was responsible," said Bishop.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said a resolution should not have been necessary.

"We welcome Russia's support for today's resolution. But no resolution would have been necessary had Russia used its leverage with the separatists on Thursday, getting them to lay down their arms and leave the site to international experts. Or on Friday. Or on Saturday. Or even yesterday, " said Power.

Obama Urges Unimpeded Probe

Earlier in the day U.S. President Barack Obama called on Russia to allow international investigators immediate, full, and unimpeded access to the site in Ukraine where a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down last week.

President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.
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President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.
President Barack Obama makes a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza, at the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.

Obama said Monday the pro-Russian separatists who control the part of eastern Ukraine where the plane went down are preventing international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage.

“As investigators approached, they fired their weapons into the air. The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site, all which begs the question: What exactly are they trying to hide?” the president asked.
 
U.S. officials say there is evidence the missile that brought the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 down was fired from territory controlled by rebels who Russia is backing and supplying with equipment that includes anti-aircraft weapons.
 
Obama said Moscow has urged the rebels on, trained them, and armed them. And he said Russian President Vladimir Putin now should facilitate a transparent investigation.
 
“Given its direct influence over the separatists, Russia, and President Putin in particular, has direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. That is the least that they can do," Obama said.
 
The president said the separatists have been removing bodies from the crash site without following proper procedures, something he called an insult to the victims' loved ones.
 
Obama has been speaking to leaders of nations whose citizens were lost on the flight.
 
The U.S. leader said Russia will only continue to isolate itself from the international community if it keeps supporting the rebels.

Former Pentagon official Dr. Anthony Cordesman was asked whether the magnitude of the downing of MH17 compels Obama to act more aggressively towards Russia. 

Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxesi
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July 22, 2014 8:15 AM
After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.

"I think the word compel isn't valid.  It [the downing of the jet] gives the U.S. more leverage in mobilizing world opinion and getting support for sanctions from European allies.​...but the key problem is how easily something like this can fade....the whole problem of how Russia deals with the states around it is going to go on in the future,​" he said.

Kerry condemns Russia

Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned Russia for what he called "overwhelming evidence" of complicity in Thursday's downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine.

In a series of appearances on Sunday news shows, Kerry said the evidence points to Russia supplying pro-Moscow separatists with a sophisticated SA-11 anti-aircraft system and then training separatists to use it.  

He said U.S. authorities have seen video, taken after the crash, of a missile launcher with at least one rocket missing. He said that battery was moved back into Russian territory from rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine after Thursday's attack, which killed 298 people near the Russian border.

EU to increase sanctions

European leaders said Monday they were ready to slap increasing sanctions on Russia to force Moscow to use its influence over the rebels to stop the conflict and allow international investogators free access to the crash site.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament Monday that Russia cannot expect to enjoy access to European markets and money if it fuels conflict in Ukraine.

He also echoed comments by Obama that the separatists must ensure the bodies of the victims of the crash are repatriated and that international investigators must be given access to the crash site.

Putin response

Russian President Vladimir Putin once again on Monday said the airliner would not have gone down if Ukraine had not re-ignited fighting last month in the region with separatists.

"We can say with confidence that if fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on June 28, this tragedy would not have happened," he said. "At the same time, nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy to achieve their own selfish political objectives. Such events should not divide, but rather unite people. We need for all people who answer for the situation to uphold their responsibility both before their own people, as before the people of other nations, the representatives of which became victims of this catastrophe. It is necessary to do everything in order to secure the safe work of international experts at the site of the tragedy."

Putin said Monday that Russia is doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization to investigate the scene.

VOA's Luis Ramirez from the White House and Margaret Besheer from the United Nations contributed to this report. Some information provided by Reuters.

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by: Lou from: Atlanta
July 24, 2014 8:32 AM
No doubt they surrendered those boxes for ca$h. Thats the way thugs operate.

by: Tuan from: VN
July 24, 2014 2:23 AM
Since when the Russian has the gut to do it and has gut to admit it.

by: Ravil from: Kazakhstan
July 22, 2014 3:36 AM
I think title should state "Hand over" instead of "surrender".
I used to read articles and watch videos on VOA NEWS to improve my English, but now I realized that this pro NATO website, blaming Russia with no evidence from the begging. Not going to visit this website anymore.

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
July 22, 2014 3:20 AM
I give credit to pro-Russian fighters who have got the courage to hand over the black box directly to rightful owner Malaysian authority. They showed humanly and very respectful manner. While in the Western media have continued to disregard to print the statements of Malaysian government and grieving Malaysian families who lost loved ones in the crashed airline. The European media repeatedly broadcasted and printed the bellicose presentations against Russia by all Western head of states. This is bias (if not racism) behavior.

by: For conscience sake from: Southeastasia
July 22, 2014 2:26 AM
The person, the group, the government, and the nation that massacred the 298 people high up in the sky of Donetsk must step forward before the international community and submit yourselves to the full force of justice. Because of the utterly unspeakable evil of evils you have done to the innocent passengers of Malaysian Airlines 17, now millions of people, including children, are scared of flying. Can you now heal this mental and emotional trauma in the minds of millions of poeple who have seen or heard of your heinous crime against humanity? Even your own child may be scared of flying now. It's evil of evils to massacre innocent lives up in the sky with a rocket. You are now the greatest coward in the world until you step forward and declare yourselves as the cold-blooded murderers and face the full weight of international justice.

by: Ivanov from: Russia
July 22, 2014 1:40 AM
The box they have now. world will see. who is culprit. Ukraine responsible.

by: Hubert from: UK
July 22, 2014 1:03 AM
EU reluctant to impose severe sanctions on Russia because they agreed to let Putin destroy and divide Ukraine if Russia gives EU cheap resources instead
...

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 22, 2014 12:53 AM
After the tremedous inhumane situation, downing of MH 17, then the civilized world had to actually deal and see in the media these so called "Russians"; every civilized Russian on the planet should be outraged, that such utter criminals call themselves Russians; the way they treated the remains of the victims was absolutely attrocious, barbarous and clearly demonstrates that such terrible persons could easily had the will to shoot down the passanger plane. These people, as shown in the media, demonstrated themselves as callous, always pointing guns towards unarmed people, ignorant of normal basic human behaviour, totally unthinking, and those in masks, had the same masks as we observed on the invaders of Crimea.
I am astonished, that the Orthodox church did not condem such terrible behaviour wrt the remains of the victims. By looking at their totally unsensitive behaviour, I think/have little if any doubt, that if they had the missile system, they would have no qualms in using it.
The fact that six other aircraft, Ukr ones, were shot with out a miss, clearly and beyond doubt idicates that the individuals, shooting the missiles, are extremely well trained and extremely experienced in doing their work.
What kind of independent state could such people create, only a dastardly one, with no basic humanity. The way they treated the dead, is a clear indication of their absolute lack of humanity; no good can come out of such people, or those that support/finance them.

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 22, 2014 12:43 AM
Putin is pathetic with his rhetorical garbage! He claims that Ukraine is responsible for the continued fighting and that caused the shooting down the aircraft!!!! But when the cease-fire was in effect, the seperatists continued launching rockets and shooting at Ukrainian soldiers!!!! Putin also spewed that this tragedy shouldn't be used for selfish political objectives...................that's all he has done since this happened! He said nothing of sorrow or tragedy for these innocent lives, he immediately blamed Ukraine!!!!!!!!!! Now he wants to be politically correct? Russian people can't be standing behind this lunatic!!!!

by: Vincent from: China
July 21, 2014 11:50 PM
Hope the dead rest in peace
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