Ukraine rebels yielded to UN Security Council negotiations and allowed a team of Malaysian investigators to retrieve the victims’ bodies from downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. A team of international researchers were also allowed to investigate the wreckage of the crash site after many refusals by rebels guarding the area.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 carried about 300 people, who were mostly from the Netherlands. On July 17 the flight took off in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, and was headed to Kuala Lumpur before losing contact with air traffic controllers and falling out of the sky. The wreckage landed in an eastern town of Ukraine which is being illegally occupied by Russian rebels of the DRP.
According to sources, for several days there was no communication from any global heads of governments reporting the whereabouts of the crashed flight. At the time it was also inconclusive as to whether the flight had technical problems or if it had been the subject of hijackers. Eventually Ukraine rebels admitted to accidentally shooting the aircraft down as it passed across Ukraine’s airspace.
Ukraine rebels yielded to the UN Security Council’s negotiations held in Geneva last weekend, yet their reasons for preventing Malaysian authorities from reaching the area much sooner are still not clear. The city where the plane crashed is called Torez and is one of many cities in eastern Ukraine controlled by rebels. Ukraine pro-Russian rebels of the Donetsk Republican Party (DRP) have also led uprisings throughout many Ukrainian cities that situate along the borders with Russia. Since February they have been in a political standoff with Ukraine nationalists.
This is not the only fatal crash of a Malaysian Airline this year. The first incident occurred last March when Malaysian Airline 370, carrying some 240 passengers, disappeared from radar. Because there were no governments who came forth to report the fatal crash in the first few days, the Malaysian authorities were under the assumption the flight landed somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Currently the whereabouts of MH370 remains unknown.
Ukraine has suffered politically because of the ongoing conflict between the Ukraine government and the radical rebels of the DRP. Until recently, the DRP were being held responsible for failing to report the plane crash in a timely fashion and for blockading the area in Ukraine, where the Malaysian airliner went down. Although the Malaysian Airline 370 crash is considered lost at sea, the Malaysian Airline Flight 17 had crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine, which is almost void of inhabitants.
During a heartfelt testimony last weekend Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans said the country of Netherlands “demand respectful treatment of the crash site.” Timmermans spoke before the UN Security Council for several minutes explaining the sacred values in returning all of the “remains of the deceased home.” He said Ukraine will be held responsible for the inhumane treatment towards the people who lost their loved ones in the crash.
Since Ukraine rebels yielded to the UN Security Council’s negotiations, Malaysian Airlines has finally made progress in returning the desecrated remains of the victims. The arrangement between the UN and Ukraine arrangement was a significant accomplishment for the Dutch and Australian government, who now face the hardship of identifying the deceased as they return to their rightful families. The agreement was also a small victory for many Ukrainian people, who are now hopeful that the country will soon return to normal.
By Kimakra Nealy