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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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