July 19, 2014

Russian-backed separatists tampering with MH17 crash site [Darleen Click]

Muddying up an already contentious situation.

Almost two days after Flight 17 was downed by a missile over rebel-held territory in the east of Ukraine, representatives from the Kiev government had still not been allowed access to the mammoth crash site, and rebels were preventing local emergency services personnel from gathering evidence, Ukrainian officials said.

“They’re playing a game with the state. They behave as an independent country. The reason is to make all the procedures illegitimate,” said Konstantin Batozsky, an adviser to Serhiy Taruta, governor of the Donetsk region.

He said that during the night, rebels had removed 37 bodies to a hospital in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, where they were apparently planning to do their own medical investigation.

“Russian-led terrorists are preventing access of the international community and foreign governments to the location where MH17 crashed,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk wrote on Twitter. [...]

“The people who are working for our side in the place of the tragedy do not have free movement,” said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. “They are under control of the terrorists, who are taking all the evidence away from them.”

He said that Ukrainian officials still did not have access to crucial flight data recorders, the fate of which remained unclear on Saturday. The recorders could provide important clues about the final moments of the flight. Rebels first said they had the recorders and planned to ship them to Russia, then said they were mistaken about having the equipment in their possession.

Rebels “have what they describe as experts, so-called experts here,” OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said. “They’ve brought body bags and they’re moving the bodies to the side of the road, as far as we can tell.”

We don’t know who they are,” Bociurkiw said of the people moving the bodies. “We’ve explained who we are and what we need to do, but we’re basically, our movements are being quite controlled at the moment.”

A spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said a team of 24 international observers had seen people moving bodies and putting them in body bags. The team was sharply restricted in what it could do and see, he said.

ramirez_20140718The site has also experienced looting

After the crash, investigators were unable to get to the site quickly and rope it off to preserve evidence. This allowed armed separatists and locals to essentially raid the scene. Suitcases were removed from the wreckage and pillaged. The coldhearted looters stole a variety of personal possessions, but left behind some apparent undesirables: a Minnie Mouse lunchbox, a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal, family photographs, and intact passports.

As for what they took, wallets and credit cards were a favorite. A photojournalist at the scene said, “There isn’t a single cellphone, wallet with money or camera to be found in any handbag or on the bodies. It’s like they all mysteriously disappeared overnight.”

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister (who was also one of the first to blame pro-Russian separatists for the crash) reported that jewelry and credit cards were among the items being pilfered. A post on his Facebook page reads in English, “I have just now received information That Terrorists – Death-hunters collecting Were not Only Cash money and Jewelry of the crashed Boing [sic] passengers died but Also the credit cards of the Victims. Currently They might as well TRY to use Them in Ukraine or Pass Them on to Russia. My humble Request to the Relatives of the Victims to Freeze Their credit cards, so That They will not loose Their assets to Terrorists!”

Next up, Prez IWonPenPhone contemplating a strongly-worded condemnation letter using a forceful and confident font.

Posted by Darleen @ 11:32am
27 comments | Trackback

Comments (27)

  1. Next up, Prez IWonPenPhone contemplating a strongly-worded condemnation letter using a forceful and confident font.

    Oh I dunno, somehow I expect rather some other crisis to arrive in the nick of time diverting the general attention off somewhere far away from Ukraine, after which Vladimir Bergdahl gets rehabilitated into international society to resume his active duty status, albeit with a new role in the public relations office or some such.

  2. For some reason no matter what font he intends to use, I always manage to read it in Comic Sans.

  3. You too, eh, McGehee?

  4. Supposing a deadly serious “clean up” of the crash site, I’d bet even only moderately informed guessers can predict what will not be found once non-guilty parties are allowed to search the debris field. Hey, would such missing evidence remind anyone of a certain computer hard-drive, I wonder?

  5. *** “The news we got today of the bodies being dragged around, of the site not being treated properly, has really created a shock in the Netherlands,” Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans told the Ukrainian president in Kiev. “People are angry, are furious at what they hear.”

    Timmermans demanded the culprits be found. “Once we have the proof, we will not stop until the people are brought to justice,” he said. The flight manifest showed 193 of the 298 passengers and crew killed were Dutch. ***

    Yeah sure, Mr. Timmermans, and we will all be holding our breath until notified that the Netherlands is loading five divisions of infantry and mechanized infantry onto railcars for transportation to Ukraine, as well as flying wings of fighter and ground attack aircraft and their maintenance crews to Kiev in order to get in the fight.

  6. Sounds like the “Russian rebels” took lessons from Obama’s DHS’s handling of investigations of the immigrants and facilities and the IRS’s handling of investigations of its digital information systems.

    Spoilation everywhere you look.

  7. Who has jurisdiction over this crash site/crime scene? Why aren’t there guards of some kind keeping the curious and the looters out of the scene?

  8. Even if the criminals were brought to justice in the Netheregions, er, Netherlands, tried and convicted, we’d be lucky if they received anything over a ten year sentence.

  9. heh, we might ought remind Mr Timmermans what Tuco said as he climbed from his bath.

  10. I’m so unhip, Sd, tell me, please.

  11. Something like “If you’re going to shoot, shoot — don’t talk.”

  12. Thanks. Braking Bad?

  13. Ugh! Breaking Bad….I give up.

  14. Tuco’s bath

    Bad, but good and ugly

  15. The jackass John Kerry could use the same advice vis a vis Iran’s nuclear weapons development, but noooooooo, he’s got to talk aimlessly for four more months, if not longer. Stooges. We’re surrounded by stooges.

  16. Kerry knows that with O! his gun isn’t loaded and when you bring a shovel to a gun fight all you can do is dig.

    Very close sdferr.

  17. Kerry probably doesn’t mind digging since he thinks it’s just guilty Jews they’ll be burying. No skin off his haughty nose.

  18. Greetings:

    At the risk of providing non-gratuitous upset, I would like to provide a bit of perspective based on what I’ve been able to glean from the intermedia.

    It seems to me that pouting about Putin while doing what they can to bully him is the US & EU current strategy. To me, the pouting is an “Enjoy.” moment. The bullying seems to me to be of a higher risk and lower intelligence tactic being Ukraine is on Mother Russia’s doorstep.

    But what really raises my ire is the complete disappearance from the media’s attention of the lovely Catherine Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Ministress and her demonstrated abilities in getting the situation a-roiling via those marvelous Euro-Maidan folks who managed to run their elected President out of their country. As Putin said at the time, with probably as much accuracy as he is capable of, that that was “an anti-constitutional coup.”

    While Ms. Ashton certainly has her wiles, and I do hope she’s using them all on our Iranian brothers and sisters, her handing off the Ukrainian tar-baby to President Obama in his leading from the front mode for example, I still think that there’s is plenty of culpability going around for all involved and all this focus on the perils of Putin the imPaler seem very much to me to be little more than a propaganda effort to cover the West’s malfeasances.

    Hell, there are books available in libraries all over the world explaining the major geopolitical downside potentials in mucking about in Ukraine. Even at this late date, I still haven’t found a decent explanation of why the EU was so intent on developing a relationship with a corruptocratic, oligarchic, near-bankrupt country in Putin’s front yard. Don’t they have enough of those already in their Union ???

    I’m the kind of guy that when I want to understand a trainwreck, I start in the barn. Just looking at and focusing on President Putin is nothing less than deceitful. Blaming him alone for what the “separatists” do is just so much nonsense. Until dearest Catherine and her Euro-Maidanites took over, there were no separatist in the east.

  19. >getting the situation a-roiling via those marvelous Euro-Maidan folks who managed to run their elected President out of their country. <

    he forgot to take the sumptuously endowed dacha with him and the cars.

  20. > Until dearest Catherine and her Euro-Maidanites took over, there were no separatist in the east.<

    yes putin's gang "feels your pain"

  21. leigh says July 19, 2014 at 3:17 pm
    Who has jurisdiction over this crash site/crime scene? Why aren’t there guards of some kind keeping the curious and the looters out of the scene?

    Guards = looters
    The people that are guarding the site are the people that brought it down. They have no incentive to behave responsibly. The more they can muddy the water the better it is for them.

  22. Mueller, maybe. Itar-Tass is reporting that the intercepted conversation about the downed plane is doctored and refers to a town hundreds of kilometers from the crash site.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight. I think both the Russians and the Ukrainians are liars about a lot if not most things. I’m not a fan of Putin or of Poroshenko. It’s like trying to trust any of the African “Big Man” dictators and kleptocrats. Lying is like breathing with these folks.

    Right now, I’m in the same camp (I think) as 11B40: More information is key. There is no objective reporting going on by either side. Not that I expected any.

  23. **** Senior United States and Ukrainian officials have said they have conclusive evidence that the plane was shot down by a missile from a Russian antiaircraft system, fired from within rebel controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been battling government forces since April.

    Officials said they had photographs and other intelligence showing that three Buk-M1 weapons systems, also known in the west as SA-11 Gadfly, were transported across the border into Russia early Friday morning, within hours after the civilian plane was destroyed. A rocket was missing from the back of one system, officials said.

    Despite the increasing evidence of Russia’s involvement and widespread international outrage, neither the United States nor its allies in Europe have announced any response. Russia has denied any role in the incident, and the Kremlin in recent days has stated repeatedly that the Ukrainian military has antiaircraft capabilities that could have destroyed the plane.

    The Ukrainian government has said that none of its surface-to-air missiles were in position in the area at the time, and none were fired – a point that was supported by the United States in a written assessment published by the State Department. ****

    NYT

  24. **** The United States has confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after the Thursday shoot-down of a Malaysian jet liner, a U.S. official said Saturday.

    “We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems,” the official said. U.S. intelligence was “starting to get indications . . . a little more than a week ago” that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, said the official.

    [...]

    Aviation investigators from around the world were converging on Kiev on Saturday hoping to begin their work, but it remained unclear when they would gain full access to a mammoth site deep in rebel-held territory in the eastern part of the country. Ukrainian officials warned that the chance for an impartial inquiry was quickly slipping away as bodies were moved and at least some plane remnants were loaded onto trucks.

    International observers were allowed only brief access to the site on Saturday and were restricted in their movements by the heavily armed rebels, some of whom appeared drunk, witnesses said.

    [...]

    The rebels have denied possessing the launchers, although social media files linked to a rebel leader, Igor Girkin, appeared to boast of having the systems. The claims were deleted this week after the plane was shot down.

    A top rebel leader said Saturday that his side was not tampering with the evidence, even as rebels on the scene appeared to be loading at least some parts of the plane onto trucks. The leader said he was eager for international investigators to come as soon as possible.

    “Currently in this area there are no active hostilities,” Alexander Borodai told reporters in Donetsk. “But the situation may deteriorate at any time.”

    Fighting raged elsewhere in the region Saturday, especially in Luhansk near the Russian border, where 16 civilians were killed, according to the city council’s Web site. ****

    WaPo

  25. File footage of the anti-aircraft Buk missile system shown on FOX shows two missiles and two empty spaces for two more missiles on the transport . Road signage in the background of the roadside is from an area outside Kiev, but is being reported as outside Donetsk, hundreds of kilometers away.

    Narrative created. “The Russians are lying!” or “The Ukrainians are lying!” or “The Separatists are lying!”

    Or “The reporters are lying!”

  26. I haven’t watched any videos.

    Is it file footage or (actual) footage?

    There’s a difference.

  27. Actual footage that has been shown with every broadcast for the past two days.

    I deemed it “file” since it’s been shown so often. Sorry.

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