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Conflicting 'Proof' Offered Over Ukraine Plane Crash Amid Hampered Investigation

Published: July 21, 2014 (Issue # 1820)



  • Members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine examine the MH17 crash site.
    Photo: OSCE

As the fallout over the crash of Malaysia Airlines MH 17 continued into a fourth day Monday, international investigators conducting recovery efforts for the 298 victims complained of further setbacks, and Russia's Defense Ministry offered what it claimed was definitive proof of Ukraine's involvement in the tragedy.

Dutch forensic investigators who had recently arrived to a city not far from the crash site in eastern Ukraine told the armed separatists guarding train cars full of bodies from the downed jet that the train must be allowed to leave within hours.

The experts from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team — which specializes in victim recovery and identification — also pressed for the train cars parked near the rebel-held town of Torez to be sealed. AP journalists at the site said the smell of decay was overwhelming.

By early evening, however, there were reports of further delays and it was unclear when the victims' bodies would arrive at their destination, the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that the latest hold-up was due to "damaged train tracks."

Repatriation a Priority

International experts headed for the crash site Monday, accompanied by monitors from the OSCE. The delegation of experts included 23 specialists from the Netherlands — which lost the most nationals in the crash — as well as two experts each from Germany and the U.S., one from Britain and three from Australia.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country lost 192 citizens in the tragedy, told a news conference that repatriating the bodies was his number one priority.

More bodies were found at the sprawling crash site Monday, but the recovery effort suffered another setback with a power outage in the refrigerated train holding more than 200 of the dead.

The shambolic attempts to investigate by the pro-Russia separatists who control the verdant farmland where pieces of the plane crashed to the ground have fanned widespread international outrage, especially from the nations whose citizens were on the doomed plane.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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