Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha & Hemant Abhishek
Alleged intercepted phone conversations released by Ukraine`s security service of pro-Russian rebels discussing how they shot down Malaysian airliner MH17 are genuine, the US embassy in Kiev said.
"Audio data provided to the press by the Ukrainian security service was evaluated by Intelligence Community analysts who confirmed these were authentic conversations between known separatist leaders," the US embassy in Ukraine said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to consider Monday a resolution demanding that pro-Russian separatists provide "full and unrestricted access" to the crash site of a downed jet in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said "all the right things" in a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who on Monday demanded he back his words with action over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.
France, Britain and Germany have agreed to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to get "Ukrainian separatists relief" and grant investigators free and full access to the disaster area of the MH17 flight to accomplish their mission.
Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) do have access to the crash site of a Malaysian airliner, a representative of the mission said Sunday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Sunday, promised Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte that he will help retrieve bodies and black boxes from the Ukrainian rebel-held crash site of flight MH17.
US Republican lawmakers urged tougher sanctions on Moscow Sunday after a Malaysian jet crash in Ukraine was blamed on Russian-backed separatists, with one congressman even bringing the World Cup into play.
British broadcaster Sky News apologised after one of its presenters searched through luggage at the crash site of downed flight MH17 live on air on Sunday.
International forensic experts will finally reach the Ukrainian rebel-held crash site of flight MH17 on Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Sunday.
The remains of nearly 196 people recovered from the Malaysian airliner crash site have been loaded on to refrigerated train carriages bound for an unknown destination.
Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) inspected three wagons of the freight train that stood at the town of Torez, situated 15 km from the crash site, BBC reported.
Also Read: Bodies of MH17 crash victims loaded on train
Ukraine said that it could not ensure the safety of investigators at the crash site of downed Malaysian airliner MH17 in an area under the control of pro-Russian rebels.
"We as the Ukrainian authorities cannot provide security on this territory," deputy prime minister Volodymyr Groysman told journalists.
Alexander Borodai, a separatist leader in eastern Ukraine, says rebels have recovered the black boxes for the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
The missile system used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner was handed to pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine by Moscow, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Borodai said that the devices would be handed over to the International Civil Aviation Organisation. He also said the bodies recovered from the crash site in eastern Ukraine would remain in refrigerated containers at a train station in the town of Torez until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.
"It`s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia in the hands of separatists," Kerry told CNN, as he also slammed the "grotesque" scenes at the crash site where he said rebels were hampering the investigation and the proper removal of bodies of 298 victims.
France, Britain and Germany warned Russia that it could face further EU sanctions if it did not press pro-Kremlin separatists in Ukraine to allow unfettered access to the crash site of flight MH17.
Also Read: `Sanctions` threat for Russia over MH17 crash site access
Churchgoers prayed across the Netherlands on Sunday for the 298 victims of the Malaysia Airways plane crash in Ukraine, most of them Dutch.
Also Read: Dutch pray across bereaved nation for MH17 victims
Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine said that they had recovered objects which appear to be the black boxes of downed Malaysian airliner MH17 and are willing to hand them over to international investigators.
"Jet parts resembling the black boxes were discovered at the crash site," said Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People`s Republic, adding that they would be handed over to "international experts if they arrive".
Malaysia Airlines jet MH17, that was shot down over eastern Ukraine`s war zone, deviated from its normal flight path to avoid thunderstorms, a top aviation official from the European Cockpit Association told the Mirror.
"I heard that they were diverting from some showers... I think there were thunderclouds. You would ask air traffic control to divert left or right, and they would give you the permission," Nico Voorbach, president of the European Cockpit Association, was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
"I think there were thunderclouds. You would ask air traffic control to divert left or right, and they would give you the permission."
Also Read: MH17 veered off course to avoid storms: Report
Having scrapped MH370 Flight code after its mysterious disappearance on March 8 this year, the Malaysia Airlines has decided to retire the flight code MH17, "out of respect for the crew and passengers" of the plane that was downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.
The new flight number replacing MH17 will be: MH19 - AMS/KUL, said the Airlines.
Also Read: Malaysia Airlines retires MH17 flight code
In a sharp worded remark pointed at Russia, Britain`s new Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, in an interview to the Mail, directly accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "sponsoring terrorism" and warned that he should be made to learn that he cannot get away with ‘egging on’ pro-Russian separatists, who are said to have downed the passenger jet carrying 298 people aboard.
In the most scathing comments made yet, Mr Fallon told Putin to "Get out of East Ukraine and leave it to the Ukrainians."
Talking to French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian leader chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko compared the downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger jet to America`s 9/11 attacks and Scotland`s Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
"We see no difference between the events in Ukraine and what happened on September 11 in the United States or the tragedy over Scotland`s Lockerbie," Poroshenko said reportedly.
A US official also talked about three unused Buk missiles being moved back to Russia after the plane was shot down, added the Washington post report.
Also Read: US believes Russia gave rebels missiles that downed airliner: Report
In what is set to add to Moscow`s troubles, the United States has confirmed that the deadly Buk missiles that were used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines plane MH17, were supplied to the eastern Ukrainian rebels by Russia, reported the Washington Post.
All the 196 bodies that had been recovered by the searchers, were taken away to an undiscolosed location by the armed rebels, said Ukraine`s emergency services spokeswoman Nataliya Bystro according to an AP news report.
Meanwhile, according to the latest news, pro-Russian rebels have taken away all bodies from the plane crash site to an unknown location, reports the Associated Press.
Also Read: All bodies removed from main MH17 crash site in Ukraine: Report
Some 196 bodies of MH17 crash victims have been found by the searchers, the CNN reported citing the Ukrainian government.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said that 380 official staff were searching an area spanning 13 square mile, adding that their work was being hampered by the presence of "armed separatists at the site", the report added.
A pro-Russian rebels` leader has agreed to "guarantee the safety of international experts" at the MH17 crash site on the condition of Ukraine sealing a ceasefire deal with them, reported the AFP.
"We declare that we will guarantee the safety of international experts on the scene as soon as Kiev concludes a ceasefire agreement," said Andrei Purgin, Deputy PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People`s Republic`s.
The US has expressed deep concern over the rebels` refusla to allow the OSCE monitors `safe and unfettered access` to the crash site. In a statement, the US State Department also said,"The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with".
Mr Cameron added that Russia must halt supplies and training for the rebels and tell the rebels to give "immediate access to the crash site".
"The remains of the victims must be identified, treated with proper respect and dignity and returned to their families."
Writing in an op-ed in the Sunday Times that he also posted on his Facebook, Mr Cameron pointed at the EU`s reluctance to confront Russia and urged the European Union to "face up" to the implications of what is happening in eastern Ukraine.
"It is time to make our power, influence and resources count. Our economies are strong and growing in strength...And yet we sometimes behave as if we need Russia more than Russia needs us".
Ratcheting up the pressure on President Vladimir Purin, British PM David Cameron has said that Russia would be blamed if it was proven that the MH17 was brought down by pro-Russian separatists. Cameron suggested that harsher EU sanctions must be imposed on Russia if rebels` role in MH17 crash was proved.
Accusing Russia of helping the rebels to destroy evidences from the crash site, the Ukrainian government added that the rebels were "seeking large transports to carry away plane fragments to Russia".
According to the authorities in Kiev, the militiamen took away 38 bodies to Donetsk and in this they were helped by experts speaking in "Russian accents", reports said.
Ukraine government has accused Russia of helping the rebels move bodies and plane fragments away from the crash site.
After the outraeous reports of victims` bodies being dragged, it has surfaced that the victims were also being looted for cash, credits cards, and passports, reported the Daily Mirror.
Also Read: Ukraine PM says MH17 not downed by `drunken gorillas`: Report
Mr Rutte also expressed the Dutch people`s frustration and outrage at reports that some dead bodies were dragged across the crash site.
"I was shocked at the pictures of utterly disrespectful behaviour at this tragic spot," Mr Rutte said, adding his countrymen were “furious” at the photographs that emerged showing that the victims` bodies were being carried across the field.
Mr Rutte has urged Putin to exert his influence over the rebels and let them allow the experts to access the site.
As investigators are still denied full access to the crash site which is held by Russian-led separatists, the Dutch Prime Minister told Russia`s Putin, “Time is running out for you to show the world that you have good intentions”.
As Russia finds itself amidst a volley of questions concerning the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17, Dutch PM Mark Rutte on Saturday said he had held an `intense` phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and urged him to act immediately.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down on Thursday, July 17, killing all 298 people aboard.
The plane was flying 10,000 meters above an area where Ukrainian forces have been fighting separatist rebels.
Each side accuses the other of downing the plane.
US intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane, and US Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council in New York on Friday that the missile was likely fired from a rebel-held area near the Russian border.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama has termed the act of shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 an "outrage of unspeakable proportion", confirming that one American had died in the incident.