Aussie troops to secure MH17 site

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 25 Juli 2014 | 20.01

A pro-Russian rebel leader in eastern Ukraine says he believes separatists possessed BUK anti-aircraft missiles, thought by Washington to be the type used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

There are reports that armed pro-Russian separatists have chased away investigators from the MH17 crash site. Picture: AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

A GROUP of Australian soldiers will be sent to the Ukraine to protect the police officers who will be securing the MH17 crash site from looters and the rebels who may have shot it out of the sky.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking from the AFP national headquarters in Canberra, confirmed this afternoon there would be some "ADF deployment".

The mission was a joint one with other countries that lost citizens in the MH17 disaster, which killed 298 people, and would be led by the Netherlands.

Mr Abbott said an understanding was close to being finalised that would allow the Australian police and troops into the Ukraine.

He said the mission was a "humanitarian" one that was ultimately trying to bring innocent people home and repeated that when asked what effect the presence the soldiers would have on the volitaile situation in Ukraine.

It was for others to talk about the internal politics of eastern Europe. "All we want to do is claim our dead and bring them home."

The Prime Minister added: "This will be a police led mission, an international police-led mission — a humanitarian mission that's what it is ... To ensure we bring them back ..."

Asked to confirm the soldiers were going to safeguard the police officers he said he was "conscious" of the need to ensure the safety of Australians at the crash site.

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott with AFP Commissioner Tony Negus. A hundred more AFP officers are flying to Europe to assist with securing the MH17 site. Source: News Corp Australia

Another 100 AFP officers, along with the small number of soldiers, are to leave for Netherlands today, adding to the 90 who are already in London waiting to be allowed into Ukraine or who are assisting with the crash investigation.

The MH17 site has been subject to looting and tampering from the rebels who are widely blamed for shooting down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.

Mr Abbott said three Australian officials travelled to the crash site and found previously undiscovered wreckage

" ... And I regret to say more human remains have been found and we expect that further remains will be found in the days ahead," Mr Abbott said.

He said this made it more important than ever to properly secure the site.



From News Corp's Charles Miranda in Kiev:

Control of the investigation of what brought down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 has been formally handed to Dutch authorities in what is being described as a milestone achievement.

Exactly a week to the hour since MH17 fell from the sky over separatist held land in eastern Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans reached a deal with Ukraine to control the site.

But while the signing was a goodwill gesture that builds the legal and operational framework for foreign forensic experts to probe the tragedy, neither he nor Australian counterpart Foreign Minister Julie Bishop could explain how it could be enforced on separatists controlling the area around the crash site.

Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia


From News Corp's Paul Toohey in Kiev:

IT is a rare thing that a powerful sense of hope can be viewed as a terrible tragedy.

But such is the feeling that accompanies two Australian parents who have flown tothe Ukraine

fully believing their daughter is still alive.

Fatima Dyczynski, 25, was on the plane that was bought down over the country last


Fatima's parents, Perth-based Jezy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski, refuse

to accept their daughter perished when the Malaysia Airlines jet was likely shot

down at 10,000m.

The German-born couple appears to be in a state of profound and shared trauma

that is cruelly denying them the opportunity to begin their grieving.

The parents of Fatima Dyczynski, Dr Jezy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski. Source: News Corp Australia

Fatima Dyczynski was on board Flight MH17. Source: News Corp Australia



Australia has offered to repatriate the bodies of Indonesian victims of the MH17 crash, a spokesman for Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says.

Teuku Faizasyah, the president's spokesman on foreign affairs, on Friday evening tweeted the talking points of a warm phone call from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Abbott offered Indonesia the use of an Australian plane to repatriate the remains of 12 Indonesian victims, however Dr Yudhoyono said arrangements had already been made with Garuda Indonesia.

He thanked Australia for its UN security council resolution on MH17, which Indonesia co-sponsored.

"President SBY thanked PM Abbott & expressed appreciation for this generous offer by Australia to help in any way," Mr Faizasyah tweeted.


There are reports the Australian Government will send a small number of soldiers to Ukraine to back up the 50 Australian police officers who will secure the MH17 site.

Yesterday Prime Minister Tony Abbott couldn't say if soldiers would accompany the Australian police on their mission.

Mr Abbott is expected to make the announcement at a media conference this afternoon.


Tony Abbott and Barack Obama have held further talks on securing access for investigators to the MH17 air crash site in eastern Ukraine, AAP reports.

The talks between the Prime Minister and US President came as a multi-nation coalition of police officers began to take shape.

In the telephone call this morning, Mr Obama thanked Mr Abbott for Australia's leadership and willingness to send both investigators and federal police into the Ukraine.

They agreed on the need for a "full, unimpeded and transparent" international investigation and secure access to the site for investigators.

A White House spokesman said the President had said the US would co-ordinate closely with Australia, including in the UN Security Council, as the issue progressed.

The talks came as 50 Australian police officers were in London ahead of being deployed to the Ukraine, where it's planned they will held secure the site.


The first official evidence has emerged MH17 was downed by a missile, the Wall Street Journal reports, with on the ground sightings of "shrapnel-like" holes on parts of the plane.

An official from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the holes almost looked like they were created by a "machine-gun".


Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is opening a major new road in Darwin, but MH17 is still on everyone's minds.

Mr Truss told reporters the Government wanted families of those lost on MH17 they wouldn't be forgotten and the Ukraine Government had promised Australian investigators would be safe.


The US says it has proof that Russia is firing into Ukraine.

"We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, according to CNN.

US officials said earlier that Russian troops had broken into smaller groups and moved closer to the Ukrainian border.


Yesterday's Air Algerie crash yesterday brings the death toll from this week's air crashes to 450.

The incident, where the plane went down in western Africa, followed the 298 deaths from the MH17 tragedy last Thursday and the demise of TransAsia Airways flight in Taiwan, which had 48 passengers on board.


The parents of Fatima Dyczynski, who is believed to have perished on flight MH17, have touched down in Kiev, Ukraine, believing that their daughter is still alive.

George and Angela Dyczynski, of Perth, have been unable to accept that their only child, a space scientist, died on the flight.

Dr Dyczynski said there was a remote possibility she could have been catapulted into the sky, still strapped to her seat, which may have cushioned the impact of hitting the ground.

"We still think she is alive so today we fly to Donetsk and we find her,'' Dr Dyczynski said earlier at an airport in Amsterdam.

They are now on their way to the Donetsk region in an effort to find their daughter.

George and Angela Dyczynski, the Perth-based parents of Fatima Dyczynski, believed to be a MH17 victim, in Kiev on the way to the flight's Ukrainian crash site. Picture: Ella Pellegrin Source: News Corp Australia

Fatima Dyczynski. Source: Supplied


The political fallout from the MH17 crash continues, with the Ukrainian prime minister quitting after his governing coalition collapsed.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk's resignation throws the former Soviet state in limbo, as it continues to deal with pro-Russian separatists in the country's east.

The political crisis means President Petro Poroshenko could call an early election within 30 days.

Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned. Picture: AFP Photo/Prime Minister Press Service/Andrew Kravchenko Source: AFP


Australia has joined a five-nation "coalition of the grieving" to send in armed forces to secure the volatile crash site of MH17.

Fairfax reports that the force is expected to be led by the Dutch, with support from other key countries to have lost citizens in the tragedy — Australia, Malaysia, Germany and Britain.

The nature and composition of the force is yet to be revealed.


The former head of the Australian Defence Force says a military force is needed to protect investigators at the MH17 crash site.

With three Australian monitors visiting the scene overnight and 50 Australian Federal Police officers on standby to join investigations, Retired Admiral Chris Barrie has told Sky News that experts' security was at risk.

"They are under threat from people who are still fighting each other and I think that's a very unpalatable situation for them, personally," he said.

Admiral Barrie advocated for military forces to be deployed so investigators could get on with their work "unaffected by the security situation".



A Ukrainian from Torez has apparently posted a picture on social media of mascara she received from the looted crash site of MH17.

The account has since been deleted and it is unclear whether the post is genuine.


Australian investigators at the MH17 crash site are among a small team to have found a large new section of the plane and human remains that had previously been unaccounted for.

A substantial new section of the fuselage was discovered overnight with windows and seats intact.

There are still concerns that the crash site has not been adequately secured, with farmers driving combine harvesters in areas that could contain crucial evidence or even human remains.

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said the fuselage was an "extraordinary finding" and that parts of the wreckage that the team inspected yesterday had "almost machinegun types of holes".

Read more here.


It appears that the tough work Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been undertaking to gain justice for the Australian victims of MH17 might be taking a toll.

She appeared visibly upset overnight when she visited an impromptu memorial on the steps of the Dutch embassy in the Ukraine capital of Kiev.

She became emotional when she bent down to read one note among the sea of flowers.

"It's so unspeakably sad. The more I become involved in this matter and try and get resolution for the families back home I understand the pain and anguish there is across the world," she told reporters.

"Seeing these flowers and tributes and toys reminds us that there were 80 children aboard that flight and that confirms my resolve to get a resolution and closure for all of the families and relatives involved in this atrocity. And that is what it was — it was a crime."

Read more here.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop walks past flowers laid in memory of the victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in front of the Netherlands' embassy in Kiev. Picture: AFP Photo/Sergei Supinsky Source: AFP


Australian investigators have visited the crash site of MH17 for the first time.

Three Australian officials, two diplomats and a forensic specialist, believed to have been from the AFP, have joined Dutch investigators in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to get to the bottom of the disaster and retrieve remaining bodies.

"The Australians are getting a sense of the security for the area, they're mapping it, they're getting a sense of where the crash sites are," Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said, adding that two or three more Australians were expected to join the inspection team today.

A man cycles past a piece of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Petropavlivka, Ukraine. Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images Source: Getty Images


There has been another air tragedy, with an Air Algerie plane crashing with 116 people on board.

The wreckage has been found in Mali 50km north of the Burkina Faso border, AAP reports.

It's not yet known whether there are any survivors.

Flight AH5017 took off from Ouagadougou and was bound for Algiers.

There was 50 French people, 24 from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, six Spanish, five Canadians, four Germans and two Luxembourg nationals on board, according to the airline.

The head of the emergency investigation into the flight said witnesses saw the plane falling in northern Mali yesterday.

Pilots had asked to change the route about 21 minutes after takeoff from Burkina Faso due to heavy rain. It was due to land about 2.10pm AEST but was missing for hours before its disappearance was made public.

Read more here.

Air Algerie airline's office in Paris. Picture: AFP Photo/Stephane de Sakutin Source: AFP


In a move that recalls a Cold War level of paranoia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has employed a full-time food taster to ensure that his meals aren't poisoned.

As the West continues to condemn Russia over its alleged role and response to the MH17 disaster, it has come to light that Mr Putin's meals are all prepared and tasted, not by a chef but by a member of his security staff to avoid any foul play, The Independent reports.

What's eating you, Putin? Source: AP


Officials say the MH17 site remains unstable, with reports of gunmen chasing investigators away and "lunatics" hampering efforts to inspect the wreckage.

Ukraine Emergency Situations Service head Serhiy Bochkovsky said pro-Russian separatists at the site had taken away their base camp tents, Reuters reports.

"We were allowed only our equipment and machinery and we were chased away at gunpoint," he said.

The head of the Dutch police mission also had difficulties when attempting to recover more bodies from the site.

"But the process is not over, there are still remains in your country and it's very hard to get there because there are some, and I would say it's not politically correct, but there are still some lunatics there," Jan Tuinder said. "It's very hard for us to get to the remains."

However, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said there had been no incidents.

A member of a local militia stands guard as vehicles transporting observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and International Committee of the Red Cross visit the main crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Picture: Rob Stothard/Getty Images Source: Getty Images


Stay up to date with the latest developments in the MH17 disaster with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the morning.

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