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MH17: Ukraine president orders forces to halt fire around crash site
KIEV: Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on Monday said he had ordered government forces to halt fire in a 40 kilometre (24-mile) area around the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
“I have given an order: immediately within a 40 kilometre radius around the disaster site Ukrainian troops must not conduct operations and must not open fire,” Poroshenko was quoted as telling journalists by the Interfax Ukraine news agency, reported AFP. THE STAR ONLINE
Indonesia calls on all parties to support MH17 crash investigation
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia has called on all parties concerned to help in the process of investigation into the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine that has led to the death of 298 passengers.
The countrys President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Monday had expressed concern over the uncooperative stance of the local people.
“I actually deplore it and hope that all parties could be more humane to open access and even help the investigation to proceed well,” he said.
President Yudhoyono made the statement after receiving a report from Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa about the development of investigation, including the uncooperative behavior of the local people.
“Various parties and international sources have reported about the uncooperative behavior of the local people, hindering and obstructing efforts of finding bodies of the victims and investigation in the field,” he said. ANTARA NEWS ONLINE
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Dutch investigators inspect bodies at Ukraine station
TOREZ, Ukraine (AFP) – Dutch forensic experts on Monday began examining bodies from the MH17 plane disaster that have been held up at a east Ukraine train station as Kiev and insurgents wrangle over the fate of the remains.
As world leaders deplored the “shambolic” state of the crash site left in the hands of the rebels, the animosity between the two sides was underlined by intense shelling which erupted again in rebel stronghold Donetsk, a city just 60 kilometres from the station.
Three people were killed and terrified civilians fled, as Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko quickly ordered his troops to hold fire within a 40-kilometre radius around the crash site, where forensic experts were heading.
Kiev said the remains of the 298 victims killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight was apparently shot by a surface-to-air missile on Thursday should be transferred to the Netherlands. Ukraine accused rebels of refusing to release the grisly cargo, while the insurgents said Kiev could not be trusted and that they would only give control over the remains to international experts. THE STRAITS TIMES ONLINE
MH17 bodies to be flown out
Kiev’s prime minister said the remains of some 250 victims of the 298 killed when the flight went down last week, apparently shot by a surface-to-air missile, had been recovered and moved to train cars, and could be transferred to the Netherlands. But the bodies are in rebel-held territory where Kiev holds no sway, near the city of Donetsk where intense shelling broke out again on yesterday. THE NATION ONLINE
AUSTRALIA’S draft resolution demanding “full and unrestricted access” for investigators to the Malaysia Airlines jet crash site in eastern Ukraine has been adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council.
AUSTRALIAN Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who was in New York, applauded the 15-0 vote and demanded a ceasefire at the site, the bodies be treated “with dignity” and Russia use its influence to bring the conflict to an end.
“Today the Security Council has responded,” Ms Bishop said.
KIEV, Ukraine — After days of obstruction, Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine reached an agreement with Malaysia on Monday to surrender the flight recorder boxes of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner downed by a surface-to-air missile last week, and allowed the bodies of the victims to be evacuated by train.
The agreement, announced by the prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, in a live television broadcast, appeared to represent a significant movement to end the standoff over the aftermath of the crash of Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which killed 298 people whose bodies lay for days in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine, an area controlled by the separatists.
The refusal of the separatists to permit unfettered access to the crash site has raised suspicions that they were responsible for the missile strike that felled the plane. It has also generated enormous international criticism of the Ukrainian separatists and of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
Mr. Najib, speaking from Kuala Lumpur, said the agreement with Alexander Borodai, a commander of the separatist forces in the city of Donetsk, Ukraine, called for the bodies to be taken by train to Kharkiv, a city held by the Ukrainian government. Six Malaysian representatives were to oversee the transfer of the bodies in Kharkiv to the custody of the Netherlands. THE NEW YORK TIMES ONLINE
Malaysia MH17 families hope to get remains for burials
SEPANG, Malaysia — Families of Malaysians aboard Flight MH17 urged authorities Sunday to bring back the remains of their loved ones amid concerns over access to the crash site in strife-torn eastern Ukraine. The Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people aboard.
Malaysia on Saturday said vital evidence at the site had been tampered with, calling it a “betrayal” of the lives lost in the disaster and urging “full access” to the site. Of the people aboard, 193 were from the Netherlands and 43 from Malaysia, including the 15 crew members.
Zulkifli Abdul Rahman, the brother-in-law of MH17 chief flight attendant Azrina Yakob, said the family wanted to get the mother-of-two’s remains to bury her. “Her mother’s wish is for the remains to be brought back so that we can have a proper burial so that over time the children can visit the tombstone,” the 54-year-old project manager told AFP at the family’s home near Kuala Lumpur airport. SAUDI GAZETTE ONLINE
DNA Hunt in MH17 Victim Identification
Solo. Police have begun taking DNA samples from family members of some of the 12 Indonesians believed to have been on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.
Police are also questioning the relatives about any identifiable physical characteristics as they seek to provide details to the investigators trying to identify the remains scattered over a field in rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, according to Adj. Comr. Aris Prasetyo, a spokesman for the National Police’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team.
Aris told the Jakarta Globe on Sunday that police had already taken a DNA sample from relatives of Yuli Hastini, 44, an Indonesian woman who was on board Flight MH17 with her Dutch husband, Johnny Paulisen, and their two children, Arjuna Paulisen and Sri Paulisen. THE JAKARTA GLOBE ONLINE
Air disaster has left a ‘deep wound’ in Dutch society, says king
King Willem-Alexander has spoken of his sorrow at the death of so many Dutch nationals in last week’s air disaster in Ukraine.
Speaking to the nation after he and queen Maxima met relatives of those who died at a special gathering in Nieuwegein, the king talked of the inner strength which people show at times of tragedy.
‘We have been deeply moved by the harrowing personal stories from people who have lost loved ones,’ the king said. ‘Their sorrow, their powerlessness and their despair cuts into our souls.’
The king said he shared the wish of the relatives to gain clarity about the cause of the disaster. ‘We know this will not repair their loss. The sadness is immense. The only thing we could do today is listen to their stories,’ he said.
The impact of the crash has left a deep wound in society and the scars will be visible and felt for years, he said. DUTCH NEWS nl ONLINE
Putin’s Russia risks burning bridges over jet crash
Russia risks burning bridges with the West over the deadly Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine, as analysts warn that President Vladimir Putin might never accept responsibility for the disaster.
Observers said Thursday’s shooting down of a Boeing 777 with 298 people on board over Ukrainian territory held by pro-Kremlin rebels would have unpredictable political and economic consequences for Russia.
“We are witnessing a tectonic clash between Russia and the West,” said Yuly Nisnevich, of the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics. “Russia’s isolation will very much deepen.”
Anger over the disaster has been directed largely at Putin, accused by the West of backing the separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine that erupted after Moscow’s seizure of the Crimean Peninsula in March. THE JAPAN TIMES ONLINE