The Ukrainian government is accusing pro-Russian rebels in the area of the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight #MH17 of trying to frustrate international attempts to determine who was responsible for the massacre of 298 airline passengers by removing or destroying whatever evidence remains of the international crime. The Kyiv authorities claim that the rebels are ‘led by Russia’ and were in the process of preventing international experts from pursuing their legitimate investigation.
Latest figures released by Malaysia Airlines show the plane was carrying 192 Dutch nationals, almost two-thirds of the total passengers on board, 44 Malaysians, both passengers and crew, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 from the Philippines and one each from Canada and New Zealand.
The Ukrainian government complained about the pro-Russian rebels removing 38 bodies from the site in a press release today. I have included a link to the original, but I have provided a translation below. It is believed that the bodies are being stored in a morgue in Donetsk. The Ukrainian government said in the same statement that the rebels were trying to transport large sections of the plane’s wreckage to Russia.
Yesterday the OSCE team complained that evidently drunk paramilitaries stopped them from even accessing the evidence that was in the field about 25 metres from where they stood on the roadside. Today, for a second day, they have been prevented by armed paramilitaries from accessing the wreckage to gain vital forensic evidence.
It is evident that the rebels, most likely in collusion with the Russian authorities, are busying themselves trying to ‘tidy up’ their appalling atrocity by disposing of any incriminating evidence. The ONLY conclusion that any reasonable person can draw in these circumstances is that the rebels and the Russian government are trying to defeat justice by this disgraceful attempt to cover the tracks of their guilt.
My post yesterday concerning #MH17 mentioned Igor Girkin — who goes by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov. It is time that international arrest warrants were issued for those identified as potential suspects of the massacre of the people on MH17. Nothing less would be sufficient in the circumstances. Action must be taken in light of the destruction of evidence in the rebel held area.
Translation Of Ukrainian government press release:
Russia-led terrorists are not permitting the competent authorities of Ukraine to launch an investigation and refused to allow the international community and representatives of foreign governments in place at the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane to carry out their work.
According to government figures, the terrorists have taken 38 dead bodies to the morgue Donetsk, where specialists with strong Russian accents are saying that they will conduct their own section. Also, terrorists are seeking to export large-sized transport aircraft wreckage to Russia.
The Government of Ukraine officially draws the world’s attention to the terrorists trying to destroy evidence of an international crime. We appeal to the international community and encourage and oblige Russia to withdraw its terrorist gangs and allow Ukrainian and international experts to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.
Forgiveness for international criminals cannot be, nor is it for those who supported these terrorists and trained, funded them and supplied weapons.
The Government of Ukraine has informed all Member States of the EU and the U.S. on the situation. Governments provided the necessary technical equipment and personnel to conduct investigations and forensic examinations of dead bodies, and provided every opportunity to repatriate the bodies to the respective countries, but at this stage the terrorist groups prevent this process.