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World leaders demand answers after airliner

downed over Ukraine with 298 dead


1 OF 6. The site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash is seen at the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, !1"#
BY ANTON ZVEREV-HRABOVE Ukraine Fri Jul 18,
2014
$%euters& ' (orl) lea)ers )eman)e) an international investigation into the shooting
)o*n of a Malaysian airliner *ith +, people on boar) over eastern -kraine in a
trage)y that coul) mark a pivotal moment in the *orst crisis bet*een %ussia an) the
(est since the .ol) (ar#
As -kraine sought to rally international support against %ussia, t*o -#/# officials sai)
(ashington strongly suspecte) the Malaysian Airlines MA/M#01 Boeing 777 *as
)o*ne) by a missile fire) by -krainian separatists backe) by Mosco*#
There *ere no survivors from Thurs)ay2s crash, the )ea)liest such attack on a
commercial airliner, *hich scattere) *reckage an) bo)ies across miles of rebel'hel)
territory near the bor)er *ith %ussia#
Makeshift *hite flags marke) *here bo)ies lay in corn fiel)s an) among the )ebris#
3thers, strippe) bare by the force of the crash, ha) been covere) by polythene sheeting
*eighe) )o*n by stones, one marke) *ith a flo*er in remembrance#
3ne *oman tol) ho* a corpse smashe) though the roof of her house# 4There *as a
ho*ling noise an) everything starte) to rattle# Then ob5ects starte) falling out of the
sky,4 sai) 6rina Tipunova, 78# 4An) then 6 hear) a roar an) she lan)e) in the kitchen#4
The scale of the )isaster coul) prove a turning point for international pressure to
resolve the crisis in -kraine, *hich has kille) hun)re)s since pro'(estern protests
topple) the Mosco*'backe) presi)ent in 0iev in 9ebruary an) %ussia anne:e) the
.rimea peninsula a month later#
(hile the (est has impose) sanctions on %ussia over -kraine, the -nite) /tates has
been more aggressive than the ;uropean -nion# Analysts say the response of Germany
an) other ;- po*ers to the inci)ent ' possibly imposing more sanctions ' coul) be
crucial in )eci)ing the ne:t phase of the stan)off *ith Mosco*#
/ome commentators even recalle) Germany2s sinking of the civilian liner 1usitania in
1+18, *hich helpe) push the -nite) /tates into (orl) (ar 6, but outrage in the (est at
Thurs)ay2s trage)y is not seen as lea)ing to military intervention#
German .hancellor Angela Merkel, in an initial response, sai) it *as too early to
)eci)e on further sanctions before it *as kno*n e:actly *hat ha) happene) to the
plane#
Britain sai) the facts nee)e) to be establishe) by an international, -<'le)
investigation before a))itional sanctions *ere seriously consi)ere)#
0iev an) Mosco* imme)iately blame) each other for the )isaster, triggering a ne*
phase in their propagan)a *ar#
.%A/= /6T;
The plane crashe) about "! km $8 miles& from the bor)er *ith %ussia near the
regional capital of Donetsk, an area that is a stronghol) of rebels *ho have been
fighting -krainian government forces an) have brought )o*n military aircraft#
1ea)ers of the rebels2 self'proclaime) Donetsk >eople2s %epublic )enie) any
involvement an) sai) a -krainian air force 5et ha) brought )o*n the intercontinental
flight#
%ussia2s Defence Ministry later pointe) the finger at -krainian groun) forces, saying it
ha) picke) up ra)ar activity from a -krainian missile system south of Donetsk *hen
the airliner *as brought )o*n, %ussian me)ia reporte)#
The -krainian security council sai) no missiles ha) been fire) from the armouries of
its arme) forces# 3fficials also accuse) separatists of moving unuse) missiles into
%ussia after the inci)ent#
The -krainian government release) recor)ings it sai) *ere of %ussian intelligence
officers )iscussing the shooting )o*n of a civilian airliner by rebels *ho may have
mistaken it for a -krainian military plane#
The -nite) /tates an) Germany calle) for a ceasefire to allo* access to the crash site,
as )i) Merkel#
4There are many in)ications that the plane *as shot )o*n, so *e have to take things
very seriously,4 the German lea)er sai)#
1atvia, a former /oviet state no* looking nervously to*ar)s -kraine, sai) %ussia bore
4full responsibility4 for provi)ing the separatists *ith missiles# <eighbouring
1ithuania spoke of 4a brutal act of terror4#
/eparatists tol) the 3rgani?ation for /ecurity an) .o'operation in ;urope $3/.;&, a
security an) rights agency, they *oul) ensure safe access to the scene for international
e:perts#
The 3/.; sai) @! observers an) e:perts from the organisation, *hich has monitors in
the region, ha) reache) the site on 9ri)ay#
The plane2s t*o black bo:es ' voice an) )ata recor)ers ' *ere recovere), but it *as
unlikely they coul) )etermine *ho fire) the missile#
9urther complicating any investigation, local people *ere seen removing pieces of
*reckage as souvenirs# The con)ition of the metal can in)icate if it has been struck by
a missile#
%euters 5ournalists sa* burning an) charre) *reckage bearing the re) an) blue
Malaysia Airlines insignia an) )o?ens of bo)ies in fiel)s near the village of =rabove#
-kraine sai) on 9ri)ay that up to 1,1 bo)ies ha) been foun)# The airline sai) it *as
carrying ,@ passengers an) 18 cre*#
46 *as *orking in the fiel) on my tractor *hen 6 hear) the soun) of a plane an) then a
bang,4 one local man tol) %euters at =rabove, kno*n in %ussian as Grabovo# 4Then 6
sa* the plane hit the groun) an) break in t*o# There *as thick black smoke#4
-kraine has close) air space over the east of the country#
-#/# Aice >resi)ent Joe Bi)en sai) it appeare) the )o*ning of the 5etliner *as not an
acci)ent an) that it apparently *as 4blo*n out of the sky4#
More than half of the )ea) passengers, 1,+ people, *ere Dutch# T*enty'nine *ere
Malaysian, 7 Australian, 1 6n)onesian, nine British, four German, four Belgian, three
9ilipino, one .ana)ian, one <e* Bealn) an) " as yet uni)entifie)# All 18 cre* *ere
Malaysian#
A number of those on boar) *ere travelling to an international A6D/ conference in
Melbourne, inclu)ing Joep 1ange, an influential Dutch e:pert#
4T%AG6. DAC, T%AG6. C;A%4
The loss of M=17 is the secon) )evastating blo* for Malaysia Airlines this year,
follo*ing the mysterious )isappearance of 9light M=@7! in March, *hich vanishe)
*ith @+ passengers an) cre* on boar) on its *ay from 0uala 1umpur to Bei5ing#
6n Malaysia, there *as a sense of )isbelief that another airline )isaster coul) strike so
soon#
4This is a tragic )ay, in *hat has alrea)y been a tragic year, for Malaysia,4 >rime
Minister <a5ib %a?ak sai)#
The transport minister sai) the plane2s route *as approve) by international aviation
officials, although some other airlines ha) shifte) routes to avoi) the area#
6nternational air lanes ha) been open in the area, though only above @,!!! feet# The
Malaysia plane *as flying 1,!!! feet higher, at the instruction of -krainian air traffic
control, although the airline ha) aske) to fly at @8,!!! feet#
%elatives gathere) at the airport in 0uala 1umpur#
Akma Mohamma) <oor sai) her sister %ahimah *as coming home to mark the
Muslim festival of the en) of %ama)an# 4(e *ere suppose) to celebrate,4 <oor sai),
*eeping#
The <etherlan)s )eclare) a )ay of national mourning#
T%AD6<G B1AM;
-kraine accuse) pro'Mosco* militants, ai)e) by %ussian military intelligence officers,
of firing a long'range, /oviet'era /A'11 groun)'to'air missile#
%ussian >resi)ent Ala)imir >utin ' accuse) by the (est of backing the rebels in
-kraine ' blame) 0iev for rene*ing its offensive against rebels t*o *eeks ago after a
ceasefire faile) to hol)# The 0remlin lea)er calle) it a 4trage)y4 but )i) not say *ho
brought the Boeing 777 )o*n#
=e also calle) for a 4thorough an) unbiase)4 investigation an) for a ceasefire in
eastern -kraine to allo* for negotiations#
-krainian >resi)ent >etro >oroshenko, *ho ha) steppe) up an offensive in the east
this month, spoke to 3bama an) sought to rally *orl) opinion behin) his cause#
4The e:ternal aggression against -kraine is not 5ust our problem but a threat to
;uropean an) global security,4 he sai)#
%ussia, *hich (estern po*ers accuse of trying to )estabilise -kraine to maintain
influence over its ol) /oviet empire, has accuse) 0iev2s lea)ers of mounting a fascist
coup# 6t says it is hol)ing troops in rea)iness to protect %ussian'speakers in the east '
the same rationale it use) for taking over .rimea#
<e*s of the )isaster came as 3bama *as on the phone *ith >utin, )iscussing a ne*
roun) of economic sanctions that (ashington an) its allies have impose) to try to
force >utin to )o more to curb the revolt against the ne* government in 0iev#
3bama *arne) of further sanctions if Mosco* )i) not change course in -kraine, the
(hite =ouse sai)#
After the )o*ning of several -krainian military aircraft in the area in recent months,
inclu)ing t*o this *eek, 0iev ha) accuse) %ussian forces of playing a )irect role#
/eparatists *ere Duote) in %ussian me)ia last month saying they ha) acDuire) a long'
range /A'11 anti'aircraft system#
$A))itional reporting by <atalya Binets, >avel >olityuk, >eter Graff an) ;li?abeth
>iper in 0iev, Tim =eritage, Ala)imir /ol)atkin, >olina Devitt, Thomas Grove an)
Gabriela Bac?ynska in Mosco*, Thomas ;scritt in Amster)am, Anura)ha %aghu, /iva
Govin)asamy an) Trinna 1eong in 0uala 1umpur, Jane (ar)ell an) Matt /iegel in
/y)ney an) >hil /te*art, (arren /trobel, Jeff Mason, /teve =ollan) an) Matt
/petalnick in (ashingtonE (riting by Giles ;lgoo)E ;)iting by (ill (aterman an)
Alastair Mac)onal)&