Fighting Erupts in Ukraine in Aftermath of Plane Crash as Netherlands Demands Bodies Returned
Fighting continued in Ukraine’s Donetsk region Monday just days after a Malaysia Airlines plane crash killed nearly 300 people.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko ordered a cease-fire within a 25-mile radius of the crash site. A team of international monitors are expected to start studying the wreckage soon.
The U.N. Security Council is also expected to vote today on a resolution to demand international access to the crash site and a cease-fire in the area.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country proposed the resolution, said a Russian veto of the proposal would be viewed “very badly.”
“Having these people in control of the site is like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene,” Abbott said of the Russian-backed rebels.
More than 270 bodies have been recovered at the site as on Monday, Ukraine authorities said. Of the 298 killed in the downing, nearly 200 were Dutch citizens.
The bodies are being stored in a refrigerated train to be transported to Amsterdam, but the train has not moved in the four days since the downing. The Dutch want the bodies returned home and have readied a military transport plane to move the bodies.
"No words can describe it," said Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son Bryce and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers died on their way to a vacation in Bali. "Bodies are just lying there for three days in the hot sun. There are people who have this on their conscience. There are families who can never hold the body of a child or a mother."
Publication date: July 21, 2014