Ukraine accuses rebels of hiding evidence that Russian missile was used to shoot down the plane, Moscow denies involvement
The black boxes of the downed Malaysia Airlines’ MH17 have been found, a separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said on Sunday, days after the airliner was shot down over disputed territory, killing 298 passengers and crew.
According to reports, Alexander Borodai said that the devices would be handed over to International Civil Aviation Organisation.
He added that the bodies recovered from the crash site in eastern Ukraine would remain in refrigerated containers at a train station in the town of Torez until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.
At the biggest crash site, where emergency workers had bagged dozens of bodies on Saturday, all had been taken away on Sunday morning. Empty, bloodstained military stretchers that had been used to carry them lay by the road.
INTERNATIONAL OUTRAGE OVER ‘RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT’:
Earlier, Ukraine had accused the pro-Russian rebels of hiding evidence that a Russian missile was used to shoot down the Malaysian airliner.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on a television channel that Russia risks further economic sanctions and “pariah” status “if it does not behave properly” and exercise its influence over the rebels to ensure safe access to the crash sites and cooperate with international investigators
Moscow denies involvement in the shooting down of the airliner, which crashed on the Ukraine-Russia border, and has blamed the Ukrainian military. But Washington and its allies have pointed the finger at the pro-Russian separatists who have Moscow’s backing and have been accused of obstructing access to the crash sites.
The downing of the airliner with the loss of nearly 300 lives has sharply escalated the crisis in Ukraine, and may mark a pivotal moment in international efforts to resolve a situation in which separatists in the Russian-speaking east have been fighting government forces since protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea.