News / Europe

International Investigators Begin Work at Crash Site in Ukraine

An Ukrainian government army soldier approaches to a damaged bridge near the village of Debaltseve, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 31, 2014.
An Ukrainian government army soldier approaches to a damaged bridge near the village of Debaltseve, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, July 31, 2014.
VOA News

Several dozen international investigators have begun working at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

Investigators from the Netherlands and Australia, along with accompanying officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Friday began combing an area now designated as a crime scene.

They will focus on recovering several dozen bodies still missing and retrieving the belongings of the 298 people killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down last month.

Earlier Friday, 10 Ukrainian paratroopers were killed in an ambush by pro-Russian separatists near the town of Shakhtarsk, which is located not far from the crash site.

The acting commander of Ukraine's airborne troops, Col. Yuriy Halushkin told reporters in Kyiv that in addition to the 10 paratroopers killed in the ambush, another 13 were wounded and 11 were missing.

Elsewhere Friday, the OSCE rights and security organization said more than 60 international experts, including Dutch and Australians, had reached the site where a Malaysian airliner came down in eastern Ukraine last month.

Recovery work starts immediately,” the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said on Twitter.

A much smaller group of experts had reached the site on Thursday for the first time in several days after Ukrainian forces halted offensive operations against pro-Russian rebels in the area.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian government forces have intensified their military offensive against the rebels in mainly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine since the airliner came down, killing 298 people.

The separatists are now pegged back in their two main strongholds, the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The United States says the separatists probably shot down the plane by mistake with equipment provided by Russia, but the rebels and Moscow deny the accusation and blame the crash on Kyiv's military campaign to quell the uprising.

Kyiv said its latest combat report that Russian aircraft had flown over east Ukrainian territory, the latest of several such accusations in the last few weeks, but Moscow has denied such  reports.

The United Nations said in a report this week that more than 1,100 people had been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded between mid-April and July 26.  

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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Comments
     
by: DellStator from: US
August 01, 2014 8:25 PM
Wow, one big comment and very little to do with this article.
The Russian Mercenaries' who were in control of the area the missle was launched from could have immediately let in international recovery teams, and actually stalled the Ukrainian gov't from it's continued offensive. Instead, as the Russian Mercs and Russian backed separatists have done EVERY time asked to negotiate or have a cease fire, they said NEVER. They only relented the same day the Ukrainian gov't took over most of the site.
By the way, the self appointed Russian citizen who appointed himself primer (apparently in Russian that means dictator, since no election was held, there's no parliament, no gov't at all), last heard that he was back in Moscow. The only question is, to stay or just one of several trips he's made to pick up more cash and his masters orders.

by: Richard M from: North Carolina
August 01, 2014 11:46 AM
The West needs to weaken Russia's ability to support terrorism. Gradually increasing economic sanctions aimed at continually reducing Russia's GDP is the safest way to do that. Even if a deal is made, we should continue and gradually add to sanctions.

by: Henry Crimean from: Ukraine
August 01, 2014 4:20 AM
Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful solution of the conflict. It is going to send more and more Ukrainians to this war. The "separatists" in fact wanted just an administrative reform i.e. to make Ukraine a federal republic like The USA, Germany, Canada or Russia. Their second idea was to secure the status of the Russian language as a regional language in those parts of Ukraine where mostly Russian-speakers live (about 44% of the country). The Kyiv government is afraid of federalisation because it will loose the traditional means of influencing local powers - financial aid and privileges etc. The number of people who wanted to join Russia was relatively small. It is just one of the causes of this idiotic war. Another cause is competence between the leaders of financial groups - the Donetsk Group (SCM or Metinvest, controlled by Rinat Akhmetov) and the Dnipropetrovsk Group(Privat, headed by Igor Kolomoysky). Nowadays the Ukrainian Army and Air Forces destroy plants and factories belonging to Akhmetov (in Lisichansk, Gorlivka, Avdiivka). But in news reports it is said that terrorists bomb these enterprises themselves - there can't be so many suicide bombers in the DNR and LNR.
Then, the tragedy of MH17. The investigation is blocked by the official Kyiv wherever it is possible. We don't believe in either a rebels' missile attac or in a Russian one - there are no evidence of it. But as for Ukraine - there are too many questions which remain without clear answers. I hate any war especiaaly when people die beacause of someone's poloitical interests.
In Response

by: volan from: South-Africa
August 01, 2014 5:25 AM
I cannot agree more Henry. Unfortunately the West has a powerful propaganda machine fueling the hate against Russia. I hope the majority will realize whom the real aggressors are here before it's too late.
In Response

by: Giovanni from: Roma
August 01, 2014 5:02 AM
When I read your statement,I compared it with statements on Russia TV. They are much alike. You are not Ukrainian.

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