Tuesday July 22, 2014

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday July 22, 2014

Ukraine Separatists Yield, Allowing Bodies to Depart and Agreeing to Hand Over Black Boxes

After days of obstruction, Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine reached an agreement with Malaysia on Monday to surrender the flight recorder boxes of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner downed by a surface-to-air missile last week, and allowed the bodies of the victims to be evacuated by train.

The agreement, announced by the prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, in a live television broadcast, appeared to represent a significant movement to end the standoff over the aftermath of the crash of Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which killed 298 people whose bodies lay for days in a wheat field in eastern Ukraine, an area controlled by the separatists.

The refusal of the separatists to permit unfettered access to the crash site has raised suspicions that they were responsible for the missile strike that felled the plane. It has also generated enormous international criticism of the Ukrainian separatists and of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Mr. Najib, speaking from Kuala Lumpur, said the agreement with Alexander Borodai, a commander of the separatist forces in the city of Donetsk, Ukraine, called for the bodies to be taken by train to Kharkiv, a city held by the Ukrainian government. Six Malaysian representatives were to oversee the transfer of the bodies in Kharkiv to the custody of the Netherlands. (Source: New York Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/22/world/europe/putin-calls-for-talks-in-ukraine-and-a-robust-crash-investigation.html?_r=0

Editorial cartoon, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands, Malaysian Air, Pro Russian, separatists, terrorism