Sub-editor, World Desk, London, London
Peter's Feed
Jul 21, 2014

Bodies leave Ukraine crash site for return to Netherlands

DONETSK, Ukraine, July 21 (Reuters) – A train carrying the
remains of most of the almost 300 victims of the Malaysia
Airlines plane downed over Ukraine left the site on Monday,
after the Malaysian Prime Minister reached a deal with the
leader of pro-Russian separatists controlling the area.

The aircraft’s black boxes, which could hold information
about the crash in rebel-held eastern Ukraine but will not
pinpoint who did it, would be given to the Malaysian
authorities, Prime Minister Najib Razak said, indicating he had
bypassed Kiev, which has lost control of much of the east.

Jul 21, 2014

Dutch expert says Ukraine body recovery team “did a hell of a job”

HRABOVE, Ukraine, July 21 (Reuters) – The Dutch head of a
team sent to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight
MH17 praised the Ukrainian recovery workers who collected
hundreds of bodies from a giant swathe of land in a war zone for
doing a “hell of a job”.

Peter van Vliet, leader of a 3-man team of Dutch body
identification experts, the first international investigators to
visit the crash area, said his priority would be getting
hundreds of bodies now stored in refrigerated rail cars to a
location where they can be identified and sent home.

Jul 21, 2014

Fighting erupts in Ukraine as crash investigators arrive

DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian army tanks were reported to be launching an assault to break pro-Russian rebels’ hold on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday in the first major outbreak of hostilities in the area since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down last week.

A separatist leader said Ukrainian government forces were trying to break into Donetsk and fighting was under way near the railway station.

Jul 20, 2014

Ukraine accuses rebels of hiding plane crash evidence

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine on Sunday accused separatist rebels of hiding evidence that a Russian missile was used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner, while Britain said Moscow faced “pariah” status and the threat of further economic sanctions.

At the biggest crash site, where emergency workers had bagged dozens of bodies on Saturday, all had been taken away on Sunday morning. Empty, bloodstained military stretchers that had been used to carry them lay by the road.

Jul 20, 2014

West toughens calls on Russia to cooperate over downed Malaysian plane

HRABOVE/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence to cover up their guilt in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner that has intensified a showdown between the Kremlin and Western powers.

As militants kept international monitors away from wreckage and scores of bodies festered for a fourth day on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the rebels to cooperate and insisted that a U.N.-mandated investigation must not leap to conclusions. Moscow denies involvement and has pointed a finger at Kiev’s military.

Jul 20, 2014

Ukraine, rebels argue over wreck; Europeans give Putin ‘last chance’

HRABOVE/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence to cover up their guilt in the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner that has accelerated a showdown between the Kremlin and Western powers.

As militants kept international monitors away from wreckage and scores of bodies festered for a third day, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the rebels to cooperate and insisted that a U.N.-mandated investigation must not leap to conclusions. Moscow denies involvement and has pointed a finger at Kiev’s military.

Jul 19, 2014

Ukraine, rebels argue over wreckage, Germany says Putin has “last chance”

HRABOVE/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence of “international crimes” as guerrillas and foreign observers faced off over access to the wreckage of the downed Malaysian airliner.

As Kiev raised the stakes by saying it had evidence that a Russian fired the missile widely assumed to have killed all 298 aboard on Thursday, a separatist leader blamed Ukraine for the delay and called on Moscow to help in recovering bodies starting to rot after two days in baking summer heat on the steppe.

Mar 9, 2014

Warning shots fired to turn monitors back from Crimea

KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Shots were fired in Crimea to warn off an unarmed international team of monitors and at a Ukrainian observation plane, as the standoff between occupying Russian forces and besieged Ukrainian troops intensified.

Russia’s seizure of the Black Sea peninsula, which began 10 days ago, has so far been bloodless, but its forces have become increasingly aggressive towards Ukrainian troops, who are trapped in bases and have offered no resistance.

Mar 8, 2014

Fresh confrontations raise tempers on ground in Crimea

KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – The mood darkened in Russian-occupied Crimea on Saturday after overnight confrontations between Russian troops and besieged Ukrainian soldiers raised tensions on the ground in the biggest East-West face-off since the Cold War.

Pressure levels have increased markedly in the two days since the region’s pro-Moscow leadership declared that it is now part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm it.

Mar 4, 2014

In ‘propaganda’ war, Crimeans hear different reality

KIEV/SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Two days before Russian forces began the operation to seize Crimea, somebody threw two Molotov cocktails through the window of Black Sea TV.

“It was a warning to us, so that we would stop,” recalls Alexandra Kvitko, editor-in-chief of the only independent television station in the southern Ukrainian region. “But we continued.”