A team of unarmed federal police officers has been forced to delay its planned visit to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine after the area was declared unsafe.
Just 12 kilometres from the MH17 crash site, ABC correspondent Stephen McDonell witnessed Ukrainian troops retake a village from Russian-speaking rebels as Kiev government troops launched a major offensive to capture the area from separatists.
Gunfire was heard in Donetsk today along with shelling and explosions also heard around Donetsk on Saturday.
The Australian Federal Police officers are among a team of international experts in the region as part of the mission to secure the site and recover crash victims’ remains.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has arrived in Kiev for talks to secure access to the site. She says due to the crash site being located in a war zone, accessing the area will always present a risk.
“This has always been a risk. We are aware this plane was shot down over a war zone and that news of the fighting has intensified is perhaps inevitable, but we are planning for those risks,” she said.
“We will mitigate those risks and make sure that police investigators are safe when they go in. We won’t take steps that will put them in danger.”
The Russians have finally allowed someone to send us their video of MH17. Judge for yourself.
but are taking this under advisement !!!!!!!:
[ Note: What you will be watching below is not a black and white image but infrared one. Hotter items show up as white. What looks like a launch smoke plume is not…but the infared heat signature. If you rewatch it and freeze at the beginning you will see the white hot spot dot where the launcher was in the tree line. There is a smoke plume, very visible, loud, and more visible as it gets higher…Jim W. Dean ]
Ms Bishop confirmed the AFP contingent will still be unarmed despite the continued fighting in the area.
The cockpit voice recorder of the Malaysian airliner downed over Ukraine is in good condition, the UN civil aviation body said on Wednesday, adding that it was holding talks with airlines and states on how to assess the danger posed by conflicts.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile over eastern Ukraine last week, killing almost 300 people. The plane crashed in territory held by Russian-backed separatists, raising fears the wreckage might be tampered with.
Officials from the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization are helping Ukrainian and Dutch authorities probe the crash. Most of the victims on the Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight were Dutch.
“The cockpit voice recorder is in good condition … the digital flight data recorder is still under review,” ICAO said in a statement.
The Dutch Safety Board, which is leading the international inquiry into the crash, said earlier in the day there was no evidence the voice recorder had been tampered with.
Assessing risk of airspace
Britain said on Wednesday it had taken delivery of the two recorders, a day after a senior rebel leader in Ukraine handed them over to Malaysian experts.
ICAO, which groups 191 countries, has no operational role and does not issue advisories about the dangers of armed conflict.
link to photo:
link to photo:
could it be ?????????
Kiev says rocket blast downed MH17, Dutch probe says info ‘premature’ black box flight recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane shows it was destroyed
Ukraine says analysis of the black box flight recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane shows it was destroyed by shrapnel from a rocket blast. Dutch investigators, however, say they have not shared data with Kiev, calling the claim “premature.”
The Ukrainian Security Council on Monday said that passenger flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine due to “massive explosive decompression.”
The spokesman for the Council, Andrey Lysenko, told a news conference in Kiev the information came from experts analyzing the recorders from the plane that came down in territory held by anti-government forces in eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing all 298 passengers on board.
However, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which is heading the investigation into the crash, was puzzled by statements coming from Kiev. According to DSB spokeswoman Sara Vernooij, the “premature” release of details of MH17 black boxes is “not in the best interest of the investigation.”
Speaking to The Independent, Vernooij refused to confirm the claims or comment on the nature of the source used by Lysenko, saying that the board was not going to release anything until the crashed plane’s black boxes are analyzed in full.
“We want to analyze [and] combine information of several sources before we bring out anything, so we can give a coherent view on the whole investigation. Bringing out fragmented pieces of information is not on behalf of the investigation,” Vernooij was quoted as saying.
The DSB is expected to release its initial findings on the MH17 crash on August 1.
Britain was earlier tasked with downloading the data from two black boxes recovered from the crash site and handing that information over to international investigators for analysis.
Meanwhile, international monitors have failed to reach the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 for the second day in a row, due to clashes in the vicinity, Reuters reports citing militia leader Vladimir Antyufeyev.
The OSCE tweeted that its experts traveling with Australian and Dutch ones were forced to return to the provincial capital of Donetsk for “security reasons.”
The group of police officers and international aviation experts went to the suburbs of the town of Torez on Monday to work on trying to find out what caused the Boeing 777 to crash, according to a member of the OSCE, RIA Novosti reports. There were a number of Australian and Dutch experts within the group, as well as Dutch police. The convoy had to alter their route as fighting was continuing in the town of Shakhtersk. The delegation was unable to reach the crash site on Sunday, for the exact same reason.
The mandate of the police team is to secure the area, currently controlled by anti-government forces, so that comprehensive investigations can begin and any remaining bodies can be recovered.
Kiev and anti-government forces are blaming each other for hampering the investigation.
Ukraine has accused the local militia of tampering with evidence and trying to cover up their alleged role in bringing MH17 down with an anti-aircraft missile.
Meanwhile, militia forces claim that Kiev is not interested in a fair and unbiased investigation into the downing of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine, so it is sabotaging the work of international experts.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report out Monday that at least 1,129 people have been killed from mid-April, when fighting began, and July 26. The report said at least 3,442 people had been wounded and more than 100,000 had left their homes. A UN report from mid-June put the death toll at 356.
Anti-government forces accuse Kiev of deploying artillery against residential areas. Authorities deny that charge, saying the militia forces are firing at residential areas themselves “to recruit more fighters to their cause, and to discredit the Ukrainian government.”
The UN said heavy damage to electrical, water and sewage plants and estimated the costs of rebuilding at $750 million — money the government would have to find by cutting social programs.
‘Anything other than social media’ State Dept’s MH17 evidence secret by Tat’s 2 Min News
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