Ukrainian Rebels Give MH17 Black Boxes after UN Resolution

World | July 22, 2014, Tuesday // 09:44|  views

The plane's "black boxes" were handed to Malaysian experts by officials from self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic". Photo by EPA/BGNES

Pro-Russian rebels handed over the two black boxes of the Malaysian Airlines' Boeing 777, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday leaving all 298 on board dead.

Malaysian experts received the flight-data recorders containing information of the time and altitude of the plane when the incident happened and also the conversations in the cockpit.

Hours after the tragic events it was reported the aircraft had been hit by a missile, with Ukraine and US claiming Russian Buk systems had been used by rebels to fire it and Moscow insisting Kiev forces could have shot down the Boeing as it entered its airspace.

On Tuesday Al Jazeera also reported separatists as saying ceasefire within 10 kilometers around the place of the incident would be observed so that a thorough investigation could be carried out.

Earlier, a resolution urging a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the accident was adopted by the United National Security Council (UNSC).

It stopped short of blaming any side for the downing, but demanded that perpetrators "be held to account and that all states cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability."

The text also "demands that the armed groups in control of the crash site and the surrounding area refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site, including by refraining from destroying, moving, or disturbing wreckage, equipment, debris, personal belongings, or remains."

As previously reported by an Australian newspaper, Moscow did not block the resolution, hours after assuring it would not exert its veto rights as a permanent UNSC member if it does not contain direct accusations.

Monday saw the first visit of international investigators sent from the Netherlands to examine the victims' bodies.

Militants operating in the Donbass region were criticized by Ukraine, Malaysia and the West for not ensuring full access to the area of the plane's wreckage.

For days, they also stored some of the bodies in the nearby town of Torez, but eventually agreed that they could be taken to Kiev for an inspection.

The US warned new sanctions could ensue if Russia does not assist in the investigation by pressuring rebels into allowing access to the crash site.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, declared his country was ready to assist an investigation.

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Tags: UNSC, MH17, Malaysia Airlines, Boeing 777, Ukraine, Russia, Vitaly Churkin, Buk, pro-Russian, rebels, US


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