Rebels hand over flight MH17 black boxes to experts, declare truce at crash site

As Russia finds itself under immense pressure from global leaders over the downing of Malaysia Airlines jet MH17, President Vladimir Putin on early Monday promised to cooperate.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha and Tarun Khanna

  • Aleksander Borodai, the separatist leader, in the early hours of Tuesday handed over black boxes from downed Malaysia Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts in the city of Donetsk.
  • The train carrying the remains of victims of the MH17 has left Torez station. However, its destination is still unconfirmed, as per BBC report.
  • Malaysia`s Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak had a discussion with self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the Donetsk People`s Republic Alexander Borodai.

    In the discussion Razak asked Borodai to hand over the remains of 282 people to representatives from the Netherlands, to hand over the 2 black boxes to a Malaysian team in Donetsk and to assure safe access to crash site to the international investigators.

  • Claiming that a fighter jet of Ukraine was flying close to MH17 and US satellite was flying over rebel-held area before the crash, Russia`s Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov said that Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet, which is typically equipped with air-to-air missiles, had been recorded in the proximity of the Boeing 777, AFP reports.

    Also Read: Ukraine fighter jet near Malaysian plane before crash: Moscow

  • According to a BBC report, US President Barack Obama said that the onus is on Russia to resolve the crisis created by the plane crash. He further added that the US` focus is on recovering the bodies of those who were lost.
  • Malaysia Airlines today assured to provide USD 5,000 as compensation to the families of 283 passengers aboard the crashed MH17 flight.
  • Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will meet the victims of flight MH17 today.

    The king and queen are expected to meet the families of some 193 Dutch nationals who were among 298 people who died in the incident.

  • Angus Houston, who headed the search for MH370 will also spearhead MH17 plane investigation and recovery operation.

    The former Australian defence official, Houston, has been appointed as the Australian prime minister`s special envoy to lead Australia`s efforts on the ground in Ukraine to help recover, identify and repatriate Australians killed in the MH17 crash.

    Also Read: Angus Houston to lead Australia`s MH17 probe

  • Ukraine`s President Petro Poroshenko also invited Russia to be a part of Malaysian jet crash investigation.
  • Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has ordered suspension of firing within a 40-km radius around the disaster site.

    "I have given an order: immediately within a 40 kilometre radius around the disaster site Ukrainian troops must not conduct operations and must not open fire," Poroshenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

  • The train carrying the dead bodies will be allowed to leave Torez station later today, said a Dutch forensic expert according to the BBC. But the expert said he had no clue when and where the train will head to.
  • Even as the controversy surrounding the rebel-held crash site deepens with the armed rebels guarding the bodies, Ukraine has agreed to the idea of the Dutch leading the investigation, as they were the ones to suffer the most. Most of the passengers aboard the jet were from the Netherlands.

    "We are ready for the Netherlands to take upon itself the coordination of the international investigation as the country that suffered the most," Yatsenyuk was quoted as saying by the AFP.

    Also Read: Kiev agrees Dutch should lead MH17 crash investigation

  • As fighting erupted near the crash site, a victim identification team of three Dutch members were examining the dead bodies at a railway station near Donetsk, reports said.
  • According to latest reports, firing was heard in Ukraine near the MH17 crash site. Shelling is reported to have occurred in area of Donetsk train station, Ukraine near to where MH17 crashed, according to the AFP.

    Also Read: Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive

  • Meanwhile, the players of an English Premier League Football club, Newcastle United, have decided to pay tribute to two of their fan who were killed in MH17 crash.

    The players will be seen wearing black armbands during their games in New Zealand.

    Also Read: Newcastle United to pay homage to fans lost on MH17

    first international investigators reached rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Monday.

  • The first international investigators arrived in Ukraine`s rebel-held crash site area in Donetsk today. Among the investigators, was a Dutch team to identify the crash victims` bodies which are stored in refrigerated train wagons.
  • Rescuers have so far recovered 251 bodies and 86 fragments, which were all taken away by pro-Moscow rebels who moved them into the refrigerated train coaches, said reports.
  • Australian FM Julie Bishop said, "I cannot imagine any other air crash in [recent] history where days later bodies are still laying in the field."

    "This is not a time to use bodies as hostages or pawns in a Ukrainian-Russian conflict," she said.

  • Proposing a resolution over the MH17 crash site access, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that all countries must support repatriation of victims` bodies to their native homes and added that the dead bodies must not be "used as pawns" in Ukraine-Russia conflict.
  • Earlier talking to an American news network, US Secretary of State John Kerry repeated that the US has `extraordinary circumstantial evidence` of Russia providing the missiles to the rebels and training them. He added that "The lack of access makes its own statement about culpability and responsibility".
  • Kerry also threatened sanctions against Russia, calling on European nations to act tougher, considering the MH17 crash as a "wake-up call" for Putin.
  • Voicing his anger over the crash site being under rebel`s control, Australin PM said that the footages showed how `shambolic` was the situation there.
  • Mr Abbott added that that the site was being treated "more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation", reported the Reuters.
  • Having talked to Putin in a phone call overnight, Australian PM Tony Abbott said that the Russian leader "said all the right things", but now "he must back his word with action".

    "As anyone who has been watching the footage will know, this is still an absolutely shambolic situation," he said.

  • Speaking to the CNN over the mistreatment of MH17 crash site, US Secretary of State John Kerry talked about "drunken separatists piling the remains of people into trucks in an unceremonious fashion ... interfering with the evidence in the location."
  • In what could further enrage the victims` kins, reports suggest that the bodies of those killed in MH17 jet crash were being guarded by the same `drunk rebels`, who earlier dragged the corpses through the field, and looted their belongings.

    Also Read: MH17 crash: Ethnic Indian crew`s son consoles grandfather

  • The United Nations Security Council is to put to vote a resolution floated by Australia demanding full `unfettered` access to MH17 crash site and a ceasefire at the area.
  • Responding to the collective blame being heaped on Russia by world leaders, Putin said that Moscow has been pushing for peace in Ukraine and repeatedly urged all parties to end bloodshed. Referring to Ukraine`s role in fomenting the crisis, Putin said, “We can confidently say that if June 28 fighting in eastern Ukraine did not resume, this tragedy most likely would not have happened".
  • As Russia finds itself under immense pressure from global leaders over the downing of Malaysia Airlines jet MH17, President Vladimir Putin on early Monday promised to cooperate in providing international experts complete and safe access to the crash site.
  • In a video statement posted on Kremlin`s website, Putin said "We must do everything to ensure their work has full and absolute security (and) ensure necessary humanitarian corridors are provided”.

    The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on Thursday, July 17, killing all 298 people aboard.

    The passenger jet that was flying 10,000 meters above eastern Ukraine war zone, -was reportedly shot by a surface-to-air Buk missile, that was given to the rebels by Russia, a US official confirmed yesterday.

    The international experts from the OSCE do not yet have an `unfettered access` to the crash site, with the armed rebels hampering the examination. Yesterday the searchers managed to find 196 bodies, but the rebels were said to have taken away the bosies and loaded them onto refrigerated train wagons that is standing at a nearby Torez station.

    As the pressure grows on Russia with Ukraine and the US claiming circumstantial evidence suggesting Moscow`s hand in supporting the rebels shoot down the plane, a resolution will be put to vote in the UNSC today to force rebels to allow safe crash site access to the international monitors and let victims` bodies be taken home to their native places.

    Leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Australia spoke to Putin on late Sunday night over the crash site dispute.

    Meanwhile, European foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to consider further sanctions on Russia.

  • By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link