The U.S. State Department called on Russia to publicly tell separatists in eastern Ukraine to stop interfering in the recovery of bodies from the Malaysia Airline crash site, calling reported restrictions and looting there “unacceptable.”
“We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17,” the department said in a statement released Saturday night, referring to intoxicated, aggressive gunmen who have hindered the efforts of monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
“Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they were allowed less than three hours. The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with.”
The statement called the reported interference at the scene of the crash, which killed all 298 people aboard Flight 17, “unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve.”
— Phil Helsel
First published July 19 2014, 6:57 PM