Pro-Russia separatists are not only hindering access to the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash site, they are also destroying evidence, according to a statement released by the Ukrainian government.
"The government officially states: the terrorists, with Russia’s support, are attempting to destroy the evidence of this international crime. We urge the international community to oblige Russia to withdraw its terrorists from Ukraine and to allow the Ukrainian and international experts to hold a comprehensive investigation of the tragedy," reads the statement released by Ukraine regarding the MH17 crash investigation.
Malaysia Airlines MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampu, was reportedly shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The Boeing 777-200 came down near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region currently controlled by the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic. On Friday, President Barack Obama said MH17 was most likely shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
Previous reports from pro-Russia separatists indicate they were in possession of Buk mobile surface-to-air missile systems after capturing a Ukrainian military base. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any involvement in the incident or aiding pro-Russia groups during the Ukraine conflict. World leaders have called for an objective investigation, and there has as yet been no official confirmation that the Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down.
According to Ukraine, pro-Russia groups in control of the MH17 crash site moved 38 bodies to Donetsk and were attempting to "obtain large cargo transport to move the remnants of the aircraft to Russia." The Ukrainian government said it had the equipment and personnel to investigate and examine the crash, which would expedite the return of victims to their families and countries, but the efforts have been slowed down by pro-Russia separatists. Ukraine also said there are reports of looting by pro-Russia separatists, reports CNN.
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"There will be no pardon for the international criminals, nor for those who supported them, who trained them, financed them and supplied weapons to them," reads the statement.
On Friday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued a statement on MH17. "This is the crime against humanity. All red lines have been already crossed. This is the deadline," said Yatsenyuk.