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Investigators Turn Back from MH17 Site

Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)



  • Self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic policemen guard a convoy carrying international forensic experts Monday.
    Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

Heavy fighting raged Monday around theMalaysia Airlines debris field, once again preventing aninternational police team charged with securing thesite fromeven getting there.

Government troops have stepped up their push towin back territory frompro-Russian separatists infighting that theUnited Nations said Monday has killed more than 1,100 people infour months.

Theinternational delegation ofAustralian andDutch police andforensic experts stopped Monday inShakhtarsk, atown about 30 kilometers fromthe fields where theBoeing 777 was brought down.

Sounds ofregular shelling could be heard fromShakhtarsk andresidents were seen fleeing town incars.

Themandate ofthe police team is tosecure thecurrently rebel-controlled area so that comprehensive investigations can begin andany remaining bodies can be recovered.

Thesecond canceled site visit over two days has strained tempers among theobservation team.

Theres ajob tobe done, said Alexander Hug, thedeputy head ofa monitoring team fromthe Organization forSecurity andCooperation inEurope. We are sick andtired ofbeing interrupted bygunfights, despite thefact that we have agreed that there should be acease-fire.

TheDefense Ministry says Ukrainian troops have entered Shakhtarsk, although checkpoints blocking thewestern entrance intotown remain under rebel control. It also said fighting was taking place inSnizhne, which lies directly south ofthe crash site, andin other towns inthe east.

Theself-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic said onits official Twitter that fighting was ongoing inthe village ofRozsypne, where some ofthe wreckage still lays strewn anduncollected.

Thehead ofthe rebels military headquarters, Igor Ivanov, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that thevillage had fallen intogovernment hands, but that information could not immediately be confirmed.

Ukraine has accused rebels oftampering with evidence atthe plane crash site andtrying tocover up their alleged role inbringing theMalaysia Airlines jet down with ananti-aircraft missile.

Separatist officials have staunchly denied responsibility forshooting down theairliner andkilling all 298 people onboard.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Jan. 30 through Wednesday, Feb. 4



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 Rosemarys 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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