Recovery Of Malaysian Airlines Black Box Caught On Tape: Separatists To Hand Over To International Delegation
With the rabbit hole of conspiracies getting deeper by the hour, video has emerged showing what appears to be the "black box" flight data recorder from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being taken from the crash scene. As NBC reports, the men in the video are wearing Ukrainian Emergency Ministry uniforms, but a senior Ukrainian official told a news conference Sunday that rebels had taken the black boxes. This fits with reports from The Hill that pro-Russian separatists have located the black boxes for the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger jet and will hand them over to international authorities, according to separatist leader Alexander Borodai. With the US having offered more "proof" that Russia was involved, perhaps some facts from the Black Box will help clarify details in this dreadful situation... though we are not confident.
As NBC reports - recorded on Friday, the footage shows rescue workers carrying the distinctive bright orange device through a wheat field in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region. The voice of a man who is not shown in the video can be heard saying "flight recorder" in Russian.
Rebels have recovered the black boxes from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and will hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a rebel leader said Sunday.
Alexander Borodai also said the bodies recovered from the crash site in eastern Ukraine would remain in refrigerated train cars at a station in the rebel-held town of Torez, 15 kilometers (9 miles) away, until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.
The news from The Associated Press came amid reports that armed rebels had forced Ukrainian emergency workers to hand over 196 bodies from the site and loaded them onto refrigerated train cars.
"Where they took the bodies — we don't know," Ukrainian Emergency Ministry spokeswoman Nataliya Bystro told The AP. Russian news outlets said the trains were bound for rebel-controlled city of Donetsk.
Associated Press journalists saw reeking bodies baking in the summer heat Saturday, piled into body bags by the side of the road or still sprawled where they landed in the verdant farmland in eastern Ukraine after their plane was shot out of the sky. By Sunday morning, AP journalists saw no bodies and no armed rebels at the crash site. Emergency workers were searching the sprawling fields only for body parts.
"We're looking at the field where the engines have come down. This was the area which was exposed to the most intense heat. We do not see any bodies here. It appears that some have been vaporized," he told reporters in Kiev on Sunday, speaking via phone from the crash site.
The crash site remains a disaster but the bodies are gone...
The US is pushing the "Russia is responsible" meme harder this weekend...
The U.S. embassy in Kiev issued a strong statement Sunday pointing to Russian complicity in arming the rebels, saying it has concluded "that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine."
It said over the weekend of July 12-13, "Russia sent a convoy of military equipment with up to 150 vehicles, including tanks armored personnel carriers artillery, and multiple rockets launchers" to the separatists. The statement also said Russia was training separatist fighters in southwest Russia, including on air defense systems.
And the rest of The West...
In a blistering article for the Sunday Times, British Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack a "direct result of Russia destabilizing a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias and training and arming them."
"We must turn this moment of outrage into a moment of action," he wrote.
In a coded rebuke of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders who have blocked efforts to impose tougher sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia's actions in Ukraine, Cameron said Europe must now "respond robustly."
"For too long, there has been a reluctance on the part of too many European countries to face up to the implications of what is happening in eastern Ukraine," Cameron wrote.
Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, speaking in Kiev, demanded that the culprits be found.
"Once we have the proof, we will not stop until the people are brought to justice," he said.
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