Kyiv, July 21, 2014 – Ukraine’s State Service for Emergency Situations has recovered 272 bodies, and 66 body parts at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines jet. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Spokesman Andriy Lysenko made the announcement at a briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Ukrainian rescue workers gathered bodies and placed them onto refrigerated railway carriages supplied by the Ukrainian government at the Torez railway station. The plan is to transport them to Kharkiv, to a special facility that has been set up there.
Armed terrorists continue to interfere with the work of the emergency services and the transfer of the bodies.
A search area of approximately 120 square kilometers has already been investigated around the crash site. 810 specialists and 35 equipment units are involved in recovery work at the crash site, assisted by others in Kyiv.
Terrorists are looting personal documents of the dead passengers and crew members while search and recovery works in underway. For example, Russian mercenaries stole the diplomatic mail the flight was carrying.
The NSDC spokesman noted that many foreign states strongly condemned Russia’s support for the terrorists operating in eastern Ukraine, after Ukrainian officials presented evidence that these pro-Russian mercenaries were involved in shooting down the jet. Russia’s actions have led to tragic consequences for citizens of many countries. The US, UK, Germany, France, and Australia are strongly calling for Russia to stop supporting the terrorists, and that the Kremlin seal up the border with Ukraine. Otherwise they will consider imposing more economic sanctions on Russia.
Despite calls by the international community to stop, Russia continues to supply the terrorists with arms and heavy weapons. A column of heavy weapons of the Russian saboteurs attempted to cross from near the Russian village of Blieshakovo through the border checkpoint at Izvarino into Luhansk oblast, Ukraine. Ukrainian artillery fired at the military column, however several tanks and trucks managed to cross the border.
Lysenko described the tactics used by the Russian mercenaries: “The terrorists deliberately fire onto Russian territory from Ukraine, targeting unpopulated areas. Russian soldiers respond by massively shelling Ukrainian military positions. They then use the cover of the heavy artillery fire to transfer large columns of heavy weapons and mercenaries into Ukrainian territory.”
Despite the tragedy of the Malaysian airplane and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement today that he plans to restore peace talks, terrorists continued military actions in eastern Ukraine. Today Russian mercenaries attacked Ukrainian Armed Forces roadblocks and units 25 times.
Russia continues to amass troops at the Ukrainian border. An echelon of Russian Armed Forces armoured weaponry (around 100 units) arrived at Likhaya railway station, Rostov oblast, Russia, and set out in a column formation towards the of Novoshakhtynsk village, Rostov oblast.
Ukraine has documented an increase in Russian military equipment and personnel on its territory, in the occupied zone near Strilkove village, Kherson oblast.
Russian Armed Forces Units have also started to place mines in the Azov Sea around gas extraction facilities. Two Russian missile boats are providing cover during the mining operation.
Russian mercenaries continue to capture and systematically destroy civilian objects on territories under their control, putting the lives of peaceful civilians at risk. The terrorists continue kidnapping people, including foreigners. Yesterday in a Swedish citizen was kidnapped by Russian terrorists at a roadblock near Perevalsk in Luhansk, he is being held hostage in Horlivka, Donetsk oblast.
The National Security and Defense Council information center spokesman appealed to citizens of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts: “We want to thank the citizens of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts who are helping Ukrainian soldiers free hostages, and supporting the work of the anti-terrorist operation. We ask everyone: if you have have photo or video evidence of terrorists’ crimes, please post these materials on-line, especially where terrorists’ faces are visible. Also please share this evidence with law enforcement officials. This will help our soldiers and other law enforcement officers. Let’s make sure that all that none of the terrorists avoid responsibility.”