The crash of flight MH17 in Ukraine: a timeline
These are the main developments since flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines crashed in rebel-held east Ukraine on Thursday killing all 298 people aboard:
THURSDAY, JULY 17
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- A Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people aboard crashes close to the village of Grabove, in the rebellion-wracked region of Donetsk in east Ukraine. The plane had disappeared from the radar screens around 4:20 pm local time (1320 GMT) when it was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet).
Most of the victims -- 193 -- are of Dutch nationality.
Corpses, many dismembered, are scattered at the crash scene and debris stretches for kilometres in the countryside near the Russian border.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks of a "terrorist act". On their side pro-Russian rebels claim that the airliner was shot down by a Ukrainian jet.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine "bears responsibility" for the crash because it resumed military operations in the east.
- US officials say that the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
- The international community calls for a full, transparent and independent investigation.
FRIDAY, JULY 18
- US President Barack Obama says that a missile fired from separatist-held territory was to blame for the "unspeakable" tragedy. He says rebels would not have been able to hit the airliner without Russian equipment and training.
- Members of the UN Security Council demand a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the crash and call for immediate access to the site for investigators. US ambassador Samantha Power says the plane was probably shot down by a SA-11, a common variant of Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.
SATURDAY, JULY 19
- Kiev accuses Russia of helping insurgents try to destroy evidence at the crash site.
- Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai calls for the disaster site to be protected from tampering, saying evidence is being compromised in what he calls a "betrayal of the lives that were lost".
SUNDAY, JULY 20
- Rebel leader Alexander Borodai says 156 bodies have been moved to Torez, a town near the crash site, and are being kept in refrigerated train wagons pending the arrival of international experts.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry says the missile system used to shoot down the airliner was handed to separatists by Moscow.
- Britain, France and Germany threaten Russia with new sanctions if it does not press separatists to allow unfettered access to the crash site.
MONDAY, JULY 21
- Dutch investigators inspect the bodies, of which 282 have so far been recovered, before departing for the crash zone.
- Poroshenko says he had ordered government forces to halt fire in a 40 kilometre (24-mile) area around the crash site.
- Russia says its records show a Ukrainian fighter jet was flying close to the airliner just before it crashed and a US satellite was flying over rebel-held Ukraine at the time. It also denies supplying separatists with Buk missile systems or any other weapons.
- Obama says Russia must stop separatists tampering with the site of the disaster, saying the chaos at the scene is an "insult" to the families of the dead.
- The refrigerated wagons carrying the bodies of those killed leaves the railway station in Torez, according to an eyewitness.
by Marion Thibaut with Stephane Orjollet in Donetsk © 2014 AFP
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Source : AFP