WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 – The inability of Kiev authorities to control the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has led to yet more frustration.
Just shy of two weeks since the disaster Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe attempted to gain access only to find that the area had been mined by the pro-Russian separatist control the site according to Government security spokesman Andriy Lysenko.
“Separatists have mined the approaches to this area,” Lysenko says. “This makes the work of the international experts impossible.”
Placing mines and heavy artillery in and around the 13.5 mile crash site keeps international investigators from access the scene and possibly determining the exact reason for the crash, and to confirm if the Russian backed separatists are responsible as is posited.
Reports are that Separatists are also moving over the debris field crush evidence with heavy vehicles. CNN journalists able to access the area report that the have not seen evidence of mining, but that inspectors are being barred from accessing the area by armed rebels. There is evidence of looting, such as empty wallets and bags that have been gone through and that the smell of organic decay is strong in areas.
Lysenko says that instead of engaging separatists near the site Ukrainian troops are trying to cut off supply lines in an effort to force them to leave the area.
U.S. and Ukrainian governments say a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17, a Boeing 777 with 298 passengers aboard. Separatists deny shooting down the plane; Russia denies providing the Buk missile launcher and says the Ukrainian military may have shot the plane down.
The US and EU has increased sanctions against Russia, including Bank of Moscow, Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB in retaliation for its ongoing assault on Ukraine and Russia’s support of the rebels.
As Russia denies supporting the rebels fighting Ukrainian forces, VTB, Russians second largest bank, says that the sanctions are unjust.
“We consider the decision to be politically motivated, unjust, legally dubious and likely to cause economic harm to all sides,” VTB said in a statement.
Ukraine is reporting that has retaken one of the rebel’s strongholds, Avdiyivka, a town of 40,000 persons on the outskirts of Donetsk.
Postings on Ukraine’s government website says that 19 people have died, 31 injured over the last 24 hours in that fighting.