As it happened: MH17 crash probe

Key Points

  • The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for international investigators to be given unrestricted access to the site
  • A refrigerated train carrying the remains of 282 victims has left the town of Torez near the crash site for the city of Kharkiv
  • Dutch forensic scientists have examined bodies of passengers from flight MH17, which crashed in eastern Ukraine last Thursday
  • Several nations say there is growing evidence of Russian complicity, which Moscow denies
  • Heavy street fighting is reported in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine
  • All times in BST (GMT +1) unless otherwise stated.

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    Hello and welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines air crash in Ukraine.


    The BBC has a host of background material relating to the disaster last Thursday, including what we know about it, the people who perished and the alleged undignified response of rebels at the crash site.


    To re-cap on other recent developments:

    • US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on Russia to take responsibility for the actions of pro-Russian separatists at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine
    • Mr Kerry described the rebels' handling of the bodies of the 298 people who died as "grotesque"
    • Russia has denied providing the rebels with an anti-aircraft system allegedly used to bring down the plane
    Noah Sneider

    tweets: OSCE onsite at Torez train station, experts have entered a wagon, beginning to inspect #mh17 bodies


    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is reported by Reuters to have said that Dutch forensics experts are at the eastern Ukrainian railway station in Torez where some victims' bodies are being stored.


    Italian former Foreign Minister Emma Bonino says she expects a "strong unified response" to the crisis when she and other EU foreign ministers meet on Tuesday.


    It remains unclear when and where the victims' bodies will be transported, AP reports, or why the cooling system of the train in which the bodies are stored was switched off on Sunday night. An AP reporter in the town of Torez says "the smell of decomposing bodies is more pronounced than on Sunday".

    Prajwal Shali

    tweets: How is it that reporters can roam around at the #malaysianplanecrash site in #Ukraine but investigators are not allowed to do so?


    People spray water to extinguish a fire after fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

    People spray water to extinguish a fire on annexes of a building after fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian militants in the east Ukrainian city of Luhansk

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says he is willing to cede control of the crash investigation to the Netherlands. He repeats his belief that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.

    "At the moment we have no doubt that the plane was shot down... The reason for it - a missile strike most likely from a BUK-M1 [SA-11 radar-guided missile system]... It is clear that this system could not be operated by drunk pro-Russian terrorists. They were professional people who were trained and this training took place on Russian territory and received arms and funding from Russia."


    Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is essential investigators have the security needed to carry out their work. He says the downing of the plane should not be used for political ends.

    "Nobody should - and no one has the right to - use this tragedy to achieve selfish political ends. Such events should not divide people but unite them," Mr Putin says.

    Roman Kosarev, Russia Today

    tweets: #OSCE, Dutch forensic expert Peter Van Vilet - bodies of #MH17 victims stored in suitable environment in Torez


    More from President Putin: "We can say with confidence that if fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on 28 June, this tragedy would not have happened. Nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy for mercenary objectives."


    Dutch investigators have inspected bodies loaded onto the train not far from the crash site, an AFP reporter says.


    Speaking at a news conference, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk tells Russia "enough is enough" and says it must order separatists to withdraw immediately from Ukraine.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
    Peter Oliver, Russia Today

    tweets: #Dutch ministers asking PM #Rutte why it took so long to get Dutch investigators on the scene? Also calling for day of national grief. #MH17


    Russia's rouble-denominated MICEX index - one of the two main indexes of the Moscow Exchange - falls below 1,400 points for the first time since mid-May. Reuters says "investors are worried about the impact from sanctions imposed on several domestic companies and the conflict around Ukraine".


    Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says the football club's forthcoming season will be dedicated to its two fans who died in the MH17 crash. John Alder and Liam Sweeney had been on their way to watch Newcastle play pre-season games in New Zealand. "None of us would be sitting here without the fans," Pardew says.

    Amsterdam Herald

    tweets: Rutte: NL has no tradition of national days of mourning. I want to talk with the victims before deciding how to commemorate #MH17.


    Here's a picture of three Dutch investigators and OSCE monitors in Torez where the investigators are expected to examine the bodies of victims stored in a train.

    Three Dutch investigators and OSCE in Torez

    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk Man fleeing with young daughter in arms. Coachload of civilians with their kids, family pets speed by


    The BBC's Natalia Antelava tweets: Now: demo outside plane crash site, dozen women and few men chanting "Leave us alone, we'll sort it all out ourselves"#MH17 #ukraine


    The BBC's Natalia Antelava tweets: Old lady on bike just stopped to talk to me, sobbing uncontrollably: I cry every day for these people. we are all guilty. war must stop #mh17


    A Dutch forensic expert says he has been told a train carrying bodies of the victims will be allowed to leave the station at Torez later on Monday. He does not know its destination.

    Paul Lockwood, Cambridge, UK

    emails: It is very worrying that Mr Kerry and his government seem more interested in making political capital out of this tragic incident than in trying to calm the situation down and find a peaceful way to end the conflict in Ukraine.


    "The train [carrying bodies of the crash victims] is going. We don't know the time and we don't know the destination. We got a promise: Today it is going," the head of a Dutch forensic team tells reporters at the railway station in Torez.


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk 2 rebel tanks and 2 APCs just rolled past. Reinforcements heading to fight


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk Long column of thick black smoke about 2kms away


    A rebel tank and two armoured personnel carriers are moving on the road by Torez railway station, the BBC's Richard Galpin reports.


    Peter van Vliet, an inspector from the Netherlands, visits a train containing the bodies of victims in Torez.

    Peter van Vliet, an inspector from the Netherlands
    Natalia Ojewska

    tweets: Many journalists covering #malaysianplanecrash touched & showed belongings of victims, or moved flowers for better photos. This isn't journalism


    A spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council says the army was not responsible for any explosions in the centre of the city of Donetsk, where rebels have reported Ukrainian tanks trying to cross the city limits.


    The BBC's Will Vernon tweets: Central district of #Donetsk. 3 people died here today. It's a yard between residential buildings

    Area of Donetsk where three people were killed

    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk Rocket hit playground and Killed 3 civilians. Blood and shoes on ground next 2 crater


    Six Shakhtar Donetsk footballers are refusing to return to the Ukrainian city after playing a match in France, BBC Sport reports.


    The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse tweets: With international pressure for a ceasefire and experts in Donetsk it would be extraordinary for Ukraine to launch an offensive now


    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko orders a ceasefire within a radius of 40km (25 miles) from the crash site to enable "a fair and unbiased investigation", Ukrainian news agencies quote him as saying.

    Arseniy Yatsenyuk, interim Prime Minister of Ukraine

    tweets: Ukraine is ready to transfer to the Dutch side the co-ordinating role in investigating the #MH17 crash.


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk Old man, veteran of Czechoslovakia.+Afghan says never seen anything like this.


    More on the Russian stock markets, which have fallen as investors react to the crisis in Ukraine and the prospect of tougher sanctions against Moscow. The ruble-denominated Micex index was down 1.27% in late morning trading; the dollar-denominated RTS was down 1.32%.


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk Old man pro Ukraine but blames army for rocket strike.


    The BBC's Richard Galpin tweets: Big plume of smoke near #Donetsk train station as fighting continues between #Ukraine army and pro #Russia rebels. Tanks + APCs in area


    The BBC's Richard Galpin tweets: Rebel tank and APCs near #Donetsk train station. Civilians fleeing. Hv been casualties. #Ukraine

    Plume of smoke in Donetsk area

    Newspaper editorials in the Netherlands are calling for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to take off the "velvet gloves" in his dealings with Russia, DutchNews says.


    A memorial gathering for the dead will be held today outside the Dutch city of Utrecht.


    The leader of the Dutch investigators in the town of Torez tells the BBC that refrigerated train wagons storing bodies of the crash victims "are of good quality".

    Sumisha Naidu, Channel News Asia

    tweets: "At the moment, they're just standing by" - Malaysian Air Force rep on 2 Hercules planes commissioned to bring remains of #MH17 victims home


    The BBC's Richard Galpin has also posted this photo of rebels near Donetsk railway station.

    Rebels in Donetsk
    National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

    tweets: Today near Blyeshakovo through Izvaryne #Luhansk region convoy of #Russian heavy equipment tried to break onto #Ukrainian territory


    Rebel leader Alexander Borodai is quoted by the New Straits Times as saying his forces have not interfered with the crash investigation. It says Mr Borodai has promised his forces will hand over the plane's "black box" flight recorders to the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

    Emma Gouder, Middlesbrough

    emails: Extraordinary and remarkable speech given by the Ukraine PM. Was gripped by his humanity and integrity. He has showed his remorse and anger about what happened in his country above the skies and land and the complete devastation and carnage caused by the 'drunken idiots' the [pro] Russian rebels. He stood up and promised a full investigation and showed responsibility and promised full co-operation in the recovery. He had tears in his eyes and voiced the opinions and emotions of a thousand people.


    The Guardian's Shaun Walker in Torez says experts fear clues as to why the Malaysia Airlines plane was brought down could be lost forever as chaos at the scene persists.


    The BBC's Jonny Hallam tweets: Hearing what sounds like a barrage #Grad rockets being fired near #donetsk station. Black smoke nearby. #Ukraine


    This photo shows forensics experts, OSCE monitors and "their hosts", after inspecting the MH17 crash site, says the BBC's Kevin Bishop.

    OSCE monitors, forensics experts and their hosts after inspecting MH17 crash site

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has invited Russia to take part in the investigation into the Malaysian plane crash, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports (BBC Monitoring).


    Rebels on the way to the front line tell the BBC that militiamen have destroyed three Ukrainian tanks near Donetsk airport. They say fighting is continuing around the airport and the village of Peski, and Ukrainian forces are shelling the rear of Donetsk's main railway station.


    The Russian defence ministry will hold a briefing today on the plane crash, the privately-owned Russian military news agency Interfax-AVN reports. The briefing is due to take place in Moscow at 16:00 local time (12:00 GMT), the agency says. (BBC Monitoring)


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk loud incoming blasts close to station


    Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss defence issues with his advisory Security Council on Tuesday, following renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.


    Some geography: The city of Donetsk, where loud blasts and fighting have been reported, is about 60km from Torez, where bodies of the MH17 crash victims are being stored. Torez is about 15km from the main area of the crash site.

    Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Russians echo Putin in blaming Ukraine for the downing of #MH17. "It has to be them," said one woman.


    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko kneels to lay flowers at a ceremony at the Dutch embassy in Kiev.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko kneels down during a flowers laying ceremony at the Netherlands embassy in Kiev
    Roland Oliphant Moscow correspondent, Telegraph

    tweets: As Dutch and OSCE tour main crash site another lorry load of remains leaves for Torez, and in Donetsk god alone knows what's happening.


    The BBC's Will Vernon in Donetsk tweets: Lots of loud, powerful booms around train station. Was getting ever closer to where we are so we pulled back.


    An armed pro-Russian separatist lies on the ground near the train station in Donetsk, where fierce fighting has been reported.

    An armed pro-Russia separatist lies on the ground near the train station in Donetsk as intense shelling rocks the area

    Fighting in Donetsk is complicating efforts to move the bodies of MH17 victims by rail, OSCE monitors say.


    tweets: Explosions in the center #Donetsk #Ukraine are 'unending'


    In the Netherlands, the King and Queen are meeting Dutch relatives of MH17 crash victims.


    Dutch lawmaker Gert-Jan Segers of the Christian Union has voiced the growing nationwide frustration over the crash, AP reports. "The Netherlands is grieving," he said, "and angry."


    More than 190 of the nearly 300 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash were of Dutch nationality.


    The Telegraph's Tom Phillips in Malaysia has this report on a 10-year-old schoolboy who is struggling to understand why his mother will not be coming home.


    This photo shows a Muslim man reading a prayer for one of the MH17 deceased, Muhammad Arif, in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    A Muslim man reads a prayer for one of the MH17 deceased, Muhammad Arif, in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (21 July 2014)

    The British prime minister's office says there is a "great deal of diplomatic activity" going on at all levels ahead of an expected vote in the UN and a meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Tuesday. A spokesman says the immediate priority is for investigators to gain access to the crash site. He says Britain is hoping to get unanimous support for a UN resolution allowing unfettered access.


    Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labour party in the UK, says the MH17 crash was "not simply a tragedy but a crime". He adds: "It is evident from Russia's continuing actions in Ukraine that the international community has not done enough to show that Russian aggression cannot be allowed to stand."

    Rudy Bouma Reporter Nieuwsuur

    tweets: Militia member at #Donetsk station wears Russian flag on shoulder openly

    Militiaman at Donetsk station

    Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak says his country's "anti-terrorist campaign" was costing more than 1.5bn hryvnias ($130m; £76m) a month and that additional funds were needed to cover the mounting bill.

    Amanda Mulligans, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands

    emails: Many of us who live in the Netherlands (I am a British expat here) feel affected by the tragic crash of flight MH17 because this is a small country. 193 Dutch lives lost is hard to take in. When 193 Dutch lives are suddenly extinguished we all learn quickly how closely we are connected in this country. There are many in my network who are now mourning a direct loss. It touches us all, this cruel, savage ending of life.


    Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, says 12 Malaysian experts are on their way to Donetsk from Kharkiv to examine bodies of crash victims. He says they will be allowed to see them and "work on them" - but the bodies will be released only to the relatives of the dead.

    Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Rep to the UN for the Netherlands

    tweets: Minister Timmermans discusses efforts to speed up recovery of remains victims #MH17 with UK PermRep @LyallGrant.


    Speaking from the crash site, OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw says damage to the railway system in and around Donetsk today could affect the arrival of international experts and where the train carrying bodies of MH17 victims can go. He says the decision about where the train will go is "yet to be made."


    Toys and flowers have been left at the site where MH17 crashed. Debris from the passenger jet is still lying in the fields.

    Toys and flowers in the foreground - wreckage of flight MH17 in the background

    Russian natural gas flows to the European Union through Slovakia and Ukraine are running normally, a spokesman for the Slovak pipeline operator Eustream says. Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine on 16 June in a dispute over unpaid bills but has carried on providing gas for transportation through Ukraine to Russia's clients.


    Malaysia Airlines re-routed a Kuala Lumpur-to-London flight over Syrian airspace on Sunday after its usual route over Ukraine was closed, flight tracking data provided by Flightradar24 shows. Correspondents say the new route over the Middle East is longer and therefore costs more. There has been no immediate comment by Malaysia Airlines about its choice to fly over Syria, which is also a conflict zone.


    Images from website Flight Radar 24 show flights are avoiding eastern Ukraine.

    An image from website Flight Radar 24 showing flights avoiding eastern Ukraine.

    OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw says reported damage to the railway near Donetsk is a "crucial development". He adds: "With the airport inoperable... if the train station is inoperable it would make Donetsk more cut off than ever."


    The BBC's Fergal Keane in Donetsk tweets: #MH17 Ukranian govt denies regulars fighting but says pro-Ukraine militia groups in action. At moment no way of proving or disproving this.


    Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair says Russia's President Putin must "take responsibility" for the downing of Flight MH17 and "help deal with" the aftermath.


    AFP reports that Dutch prosecutors have opened a preliminary criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17 over rebel-held Ukraine, which left 298 people dead - most of them Dutch.


    Some personal effects of MH17 passengers caught fire "due to weather conditions", Ukrayinska Pravda news website reports alongside a photo of burning artefacts.


    Russia has not delivered any SA-11 Buk missile systems "or any other weapons" to Ukraine, defence ministry officials quoted by Reuters say.


    Maya Pope-Chappell, of the Wall Street Journal, tweets: Dad of #MH17 victim: "If 200 U.S. citizens were lying there like this, something would happen."

    A line of body bags

    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his country would view "very badly" any Russian veto of a UN Security Council vote on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the plane crash site and a ceasefire around the area.

    Harriet Salem, journalist in Donetsk

    tweets: At #MH17 crash site Dutch forensic expert "impressed" with recovery operation & workers given the size, weather & circumstances #Ukraine


    Russian records show a Ukrainian fighter jet was flying close to the Malaysian passenger jet before it crashed, AFP reports. The agency quotes Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov saying: "An altitude gain was recorded for a Ukrainian armed forces plane. Its distance from the Malaysian Boeing was three to five kilometres (two to three miles)."


    More from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: "This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation. Given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft, having these people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene."


    The Ukrainian news-based channel 5 Kanal suspended its broadcasts at 12:00 GMT with the screen showing the channel's logo and the ticker saying: "The broadcasting of 5 Kanal is temporarily suspended over bomb alert."

    Bernama, Malaysian National News Agency

    tweets: Russia will assist Malaysian government in 'all possible ways' in the case of the #MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine - Russian envoy to Malaysia.


    Members of Ukraine's emergency services, wearing protective suits, are working to move newly retrieved bodies to the refrigerated train in Torez. The destination of the train is still unknown.

    Two people wearing protective suits and gas masks
    Reuters Top News

    tweets: Ukrainian security source says Kiev stands by information that separatists received Buk-M1 missile system from Russia, most likely with crew.


    Europe's strong economic ties to Russia "offer it the greatest leverage against Moscow in the bid to force Putin to abandon support for the rebels", the Washington Post says. The paper says that in the "global court of public opinion, the verdict appears to be rendered and Vladimir Putin is guilty".

    D. Marron, Kiev, Ukraine

    emails: Enough is enough. NATO needs to send in 10,000 troops to seal the border and secure the crash site. Stop the desecration of these bodies and the destruction of evidence! Give the families of these 298 some respect and dignity!


    Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline by revenue, has joined rival Emirates to call for an airline summit to discuss the industry's response to the downing of the airliner, Reuters reports. It quotes Lufthansa as saying that international security protocols should be reviewed.


    Aviation expert David Learmount tells the BBC that the the fact the crash scene has not been protected means "anybody who doesn't like the outcome of this investigation can claim that the outcome is not valid".

    The Daily Telegraph's Roland Oliphant

    tweets: Dutch team finished their tour of main crash site. Positive about the recovery work done here, diplomatically quiet on "other things".


    There is a change in tone in comments made about the crash by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte from previous days, Reuters reports. It says that in the days immediately after the crash he stressed the importance of ascertaining the facts of the crash before considering a response. Now he is more strident: "If in the coming days access to the disaster area remains inadequate, then all political, economic and financial options are on the table against those who are directly or indirectly responsible for that," Reuters quotes him as saying.


    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says 272 bodies have so far been found, and 251 of those have been loaded into two refrigerator trains. In a statement, he says "these bloody guerrillas" [referring to pro-Russian separatist fighters] are not allowing the train to leave the area.

    Arseniy Yatsenyuk

    Moscow says it is still waiting for the answers to 10 questions it has asked the Ukrainian government regarding the causes of the crash. The questions, posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website, include "Can Kiev officials provide all the details of the use of Buk systems in the area of hostilities?" and "why was the airspace above the zone of hostilities not closed completely to civilian aircraft?" The website says there has been no response from Ukraine yet. (BBC Monitoring)


    An armed pro-Russian separatist at the crash site of MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in the Donetsk region.

    An armed pro-Russian separatist at the crash site of MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in the  Donetsk region
    The White House

    tweets: At 10:50 ET (14:50 GMT), President Obama will deliver a statement on the situation in Ukraine →


    Forensic experts from the Netherlands have been checking body bags lying on the floor inside the refrigerated train coaches where they are being stored.

    Two men in mouth masks inside a train carriage full of body bags

    Julia Ioffe has a piece in the New Republic on how the crisis is being presented by Russian media. "The picture of the catastrophe that the Russian people are seeing on their television screens is very different from that on screens in much of the rest of the world, and the discrepancy does not bode well for a sane resolution to this stand-off," she says.

    Phil Mackie, BBC Reporter in Nieuwegein, Netherlands

    tweets: We're told emotions in the meeting between families of #MH17 victims & Dutch authorities are running high. Frustration at slow recovery


    Scammers are using the MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine to spread objectionable links, online security experts tell the BBC.


    Dutch forensic investigators tell armed separatists guarding train wagons full of bodies from the downed airliner that the train must be allowed to leave as soon as possible, AP reports. It says experts from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team - which specialises in victim recovery and identification - are demanding the refrigerated train cars parked in the rebel-held town of Torez are properly sealed.


    tweets: Etihad re-routes flights from #UAE to avoid #Ukraine after #MalaysiaAirlines flight #MH17 is shot down


    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says "all of the Netherlands is supporting" relatives and families of the plane crash victims and "everyone feels their fury and sadness". He was speaking after meeting the families in Utrecht.


    British Prime Minister David Cameron tells parliament that President Putin must use his influence to end the conflict in Ukraine by halting separatists' supplies and training.


    American officials have been building a case that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, AP reports, ahead of President Obama's statement in a few minutes' time. US officials also say it is unlikely the separatists could have fired a missile without assistance from Russia.


    David Cameron says Russia cannot expect access to European markets, capital and technical expertise while it fuels conflict in Ukraine.

    Malaysia Airlines

    tweets: Clarification regarding Malaysia Airlines' flight MH004 on 20 July 2014 -


    Canada will impose a wide range of new sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, in consultation with its allies, Foreign Minister John Baird says. He says Canada is also looking at applying sanctions against entire Russian sectors.


    A Ukrainian woman hurries to cross a bridge over a river in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, as smoke from fighting billows in the background.

    A Ukrainian elderly woman hurries to cross a bridge across a river in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine
    National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

    tweets: Ukrainian troops has entered #Dzerzhynsk, #Rubizhne, #Soledar


    More from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following his meeting with victims' families: "I told them they were not alone. If they look from left to right they can see people with the same sorrow."


    Ukrainian forces have taken the city of Dzerzhynsk in Donetsk region under control and are working on clearing it of rebel fighters, Interfax-Ukraine news agency quotes "anti-terrorist" sources as saying.


    The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and head of commission probing the crash, Volodymyr Hroysman, tells a briefing in Kiev that the search for victims' bodies is complete, with 282 bodies and "87 fragments of 16 bodies" found, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports (BBC Monitoring).

    Phil Mackie, BBC Reporter in Nieuwegein, Netherlands

    tweets: #MH17 Victims' families told "it's not wise or safe" to visit the crash site. Requests to do so have subsided


    President Obama's news conference is delayed from its expected 15:50 BST start, but will begin soon, US officials say.


    Nieuwsuur reporter Rudy Bouma tweeted this photo of smoke in Donetsk, presumed to be from the fighting.

    Smoke in Donetsk
    Fergal Keane, BBC Foreign Correspondent

    tweets: #Donetsk 1/2 Ukrainian National Security Council now confirms the army has launched attacks on rebels near Donetsk.


    The BBC's Fergal Keane tweets: #Donetsk 2/2 Army attack will raise question: why now when international priority is security of crash investigators heading to region?


    Three Dutch investigators have examined bodies from the crashed plane now on a train in east Ukraine, the BBC's Natalia Antelava reports.


    US President Barack Obama says the onus is on Russia to resolve the crisis created by the plane crash. He says the US' focus is on recovering the bodies of those who were lost.


    President Obama says he has spoken to several world leaders since the crash. He says they are "in a state of shock but, frankly, also in a state of outrage".


    President Obama says "President Putin has direct responsibility to compel them [pro-Russian rebels] to cooperate" with investigation and recovery efforts.


    President Obama says investigators should have immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site.


    "The world deserves to know exactly what happened," President Obama says.


    President Obama says ensuring bodies are recovered and returned to their loved ones is "the least that decency demands".


    If Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, it will face further international isolation, the US president says. "Now is the time" for President Putin to "pivot away from the strategy they have taken".

    Julian E. Barnes, Pentagon Reporter, Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Obama: "separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. What are they trying to hide." #MH17

    David Axelrod Former Obama adviser

    tweets: Remember not long ago when some folks in DC were almost in awe of Putin's moxy and cunning? He's not looking so slick now.


    At a news conference outside the White House, President Obama strongly criticises Russia's response to the crisis.

    President Obama speaks about Ukraine at the White House in Washington
    Nicholas Burns

    tweets: Good #Obama statement critical of #Russia on #malaysianplanecrash But why no call for greater #Europe sanctions against Kremlin?


    British Prime Minister David Cameron questions France's plan to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. He says it would be "unthinkable" for Britain to fulfil such an order after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine.

    UK Prime Minister

    tweets: Read the PM's @HouseofCommons statement about the MH17 air disaster, Ukraine & Gaza

    Roland Oliphant Telegraph correspondent

    tweets: Hmmm. So, Ukrainian dept PM in Kiev says #MH17 morgue train is to leave Torez for Kharkiv after 7 pm (about 25 minutes from now).


    More from the White House news conference: President Obama says the chaos at the scene of the crash is an "insult" to the families of the dead. He says President Putin must prove "that he supports a full and fair investigation".


    "Russia has extraordinary influence over these separatists," President Obama says. "No one denies that. Russia has urged them on, Russia has trained them, we know that Russia has armed them with military equipment and weapons including anti-aircraft weapons. Key separatist leaders are Russian citizens."


    In what the AP news agency describes as "an unusual move that underscored the severity of the national trauma", a "sombre" King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands gives a brief televised address to his country after meeting victims' relatives. "This terrible disaster has left a deep wound in our society," the king says. "The scar will be visible and tangible for years to come."


    According to the latest confirmed figures, 193 of the 298 people on board flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were Dutch. Full details of the nationalities of those confirmed killed are here.


    The Dutch forensic scientists say the train in Torez containing the victims' bodies may leave the town later on Monday. The train (pictured here) is being guarded by pro-Russian rebels.

    Train in Torez containing victims' bodies
    Noah Sneider, Journalist in Donetsk

    tweets: #MH17 body train has left the station. Torez, 19:00. Destination still unconfirmed, though likely Kharkov (sic).


    If Kharkiv is indeed the train's destination (and this has not been confirmed) it would be a journey of approximately 300km (186 miles). The route by road from Torez takes about four-and-a-half hours.


    Fighting in Donetsk raises an obvious question, the BBC's Fergal Keane says. With the world demanding security for air crash investigators, why did the Ukrainian government choose this moment to advance near the regional capital? Our correspondent says concerns over the security of international teams could be increased by the latest fighting.

    17:25: Breaking News

    It is confirmed that the train containing bodies of the victims of flight MH17 has left Torez station, about 15km from the main crash site. The train's destination is still unconfirmed.


    The train is carrying 280 bodies of recovered crash victims, the BBC's Fergal Keane reports.


    Malaysia's prime minister has made a deal with an unnamed pro-Russian rebel leader to allow "safe access" to the crash site for investigators, AP reports.


    It was impossible to be sure who was firing [at whom] or in which direction in Donetsk, the BBC's Fergal Keane says. "However, we saw the aftermath of a rocket strike in the playground of an apartment complex close to the station - a rebel controlled area."


    The BBC's Fergal Keane says the train is heading for Kharkiv. The city is about 300km (186 miles) north-west of Torez.


    AP: Malaysian PM says an unnamed rebel leader will hand over the plane's "black-box" flight recorders to a Malaysian team later on Monday.


    A woman removes broken glass from her car, damaged by a rocket during fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk.

     A woman removes broken glass from her car, damaged by a rocket during fighting between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk.
    Fergal Keane, BBC correspondent in Donetsk

    tweets: #MH17 reports black box recorder to be handed over to Malaysian authorites at 9pm local time here in #Donetsk


    A pro-Russian rebel speaks on his phone as the refrigerated train loaded with bodies of passengers from flight MH17 leaves Torez station in eastern Ukraine.

    A pro-Russian rebel speaks on the phone as a refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers departs the station in Torez

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denies Russian assertions that a Ukrainian warplane was flying near the downed Malaysian airliner last week, saying Ukrainian planes in the area were on the ground at the time of the crash. He was responding to a Russian defence ministry statement which said a Ukrainian military plane flew within three to five km of the Malaysian plane at the time it was downed. President Poroshenko told CNN: "My immediate reaction - this is not true."


    More on Russian allegations that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was recorded near flight MH17 around the time it was brought down. "An altitude gain was recorded for a Ukrainian armed forces plane," Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov told a news briefing in Moscow. "Its distance from the Malaysian Boeing was three to five kilometres (two to three miles)," he said, pointing out that the SU-25 is capable of reaching a height of 10,000 metres "for a brief time". "With what aim was a military plane flying along a civilian aviation route practically at the same time and at the same flight level as a passenger liner?" Gen Kartopolov asked. "We would like to receive an answer to this question."


    "Everybody knows that in this period of time when the tragedy happened all Ukrainian planes were on the ground [in the area]," President Poroshenko tells CNN in his interview.

    Mohd Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

    tweets: Read: PM DS Najib Razak's statement on #MH17 agreement … - Admin


    The Ukrainian government hopes the train carrying the bodies will go to the government-controlled eastern city of Kharkiv, where it has set up a crash crisis centre, AP reports.


    More on the reported deal for a handover of the "black-box" flight recorders to investigators later on Monday. This is a big change in the dynamics of the rebel response, the BBC's Fergal Keane reports.

    17:55: BBC political editor Nick Robinson

    The rhetoric could scarcely sound tougher when it comes to the Western response against Russia but will the reality come close to matching it? The BBC's Nick Robinson has this assessment.


    A fire burns in a factory complex hit by a rocket during fighting between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk.

    A fire burns in a factory complex hit by a rocket during fighting between pro-Russia rebels and Ukrainian government troops in Donetsk
    Peter Bouckaert, Emergency Director at Human Rights Watch

    tweets: The Buk SA-11 is a 15-ft, 1500lbs missile, w only small 150lbs warhead, so expect lot of missile debris at #malaysianplanecrash site.


    Pro-Russia rebels travel in a convoy of tanks and transport vehicles as fighting escalates in Donetsk

    Pro-Russia rebels travel in a convoy of tanks and transport vehicles as fighting escalates in Donetsk

    Those wanting tougher action against Russia will have been left disappointed, says the BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Washington. President Obama said the focus was still to find a diplomatic solution to the issues in Ukraine. "But many here and abroad want him to announce consequences for Russia that will force President Putin to sit up and listen."


    "For all the tough talk, Europe is unlikely to punish Russia over last week's downing of an airliner," a Reuters commentary says. It says that not much will be change when the bloc's foreign ministers meet on Tuesday, apart from a "speeding-up the imposition of already agreed individual sanctions" .

    18:34: Fergal Keane, BBC News, Donetsk

    reports on the latest fighting. "Next to the crater lay a pool of blood, a man's shoes and a pair of glasses."


    Just to recap on a few significant developments revealed in the last hour by Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak. One is that the two black box flight recorders recovered from the crash site would be given to a Malaysian team of investigators on Monday evening, local time in Ukraine.

    Daniel Sandford, BBC Moscow Correspondent

    tweets: A Malaysian Colonel Mohd Sakri has arrived in Donetsk to collect the "black box" flight recorders


    Mr Razak also said he received assurances from the rebels that independent international investigators will be given "safe access" to the crash site.


    The Malaysia prime minister also said the remains of the dead are being moved by train to Kharkiv and then handed over to international investigators. It's being reported they will go to Amsterdam to the Dutch authorities.

    Noah Sneider, Journalist in Donetsk

    tweets: Fwiw, I think the rebel convoy I just saw driving east away from #donetsk was heading to Snizhne, site of heavy fighting in recent days


    Ukraine continues to accuse Moscow and pro-Russian separatists of tampering with the evidence, BBC Monitoring reports. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman told a news briefing in Kiev that "for four days the special services of the Russian Federation have been carrying out relevant work, trying to destroy any traces of how all this was done".


    But the accusations are flung in both directions. Pro-Russian rebels say the fault lies with Ukrainian President Poroshenko.

    Board outside Grabovo

    Nick Bryant, the BBC's United Nations correspondent in New York, says a vote is about 45 minutes away, on an Australian resolution calling for a full international investigation and unfettered access to the crash site. He expects it to pass.


    Many are wondering how the European Union will respond to Russia over Ukraine. BBC Europe editor Gavin Hewitt has explained the options available.

    Factory in Donetsk

    Meanwhile, a burning factory in Donetsk is a reminder that the fighting goes on.


    If you missed US President Barack Obama earlier calling on Russia to do more, you can watch it here.


    Martin Dolan, the chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, has spent the weekend switching back and forth between two plane crash investigations involving Malaysia Airlines jets, reports the New York Times.

    Nick Bryant, BBC News, New York

    tweets: Russia says it will support the Australian-drafted resolution mandating an international independent investigation into #MH17 #UN


    The UN Security Council is now considering the Australian-drafted resolution condemning the incident and calling for the provision of safe access to the crash site.


    Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Minister, has set out to the UN Security Council her country's resolve, saying it's "despicable" that full access to the site has been denied.


    At the UN Security Council, the UK ambassador to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, says "separatist thugs" have trampled on the bodies and even looted the belongings of the dead, showing a "complete disregard" for human dignity.


    Sir Mark says the Australian resolution requires the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site and the surrounding area to quickly return the bodies of the dead to their families. He says it is "inexcusable" that the process has been delayed.


    Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the UN, says "we are not only outraged at the attack itself, we are horrified and enraged by what has happened since", including the obstruction of the investigation.


    She says separatists have carted away evidence and damaging the wreckage.


    The UN Security Council has unanimously passed the Australian resolution. It demands an end to military activity, insists the victims' bodies be treated respectfully, and calls for the provision of safe access to the crash site.


    Russia voted for the UN resolution.


    The UN resolution, proposed by Australia, calls for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Hrabove. All 15 council members voted in favour.


    Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, says the UN Security Council must not jump to conclusions about the cause of the crash, nor allow political statements.


    Mr Churkin says, "It seems that Kiev is attempting to draw on the shock of the international community" to escalate its "punitive operations" in the eastern Ukraine. He also takes swipe at US Ambassador Samantha Power, suggesting the US government is uninformed about Russia's efforts to ensure international investigators have access to the crash site.

    The UN Security Council votes on the resolution regarding the plane crash in Ukraine. 21 July 2014 The UN Security Council votes on the resolution
    Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN

    tweets: We and so many others have condemned the grotesque actions of separatists controlling the #MH17 crash site. Will #Russia do the same?


    Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans tells reporters in New York: "Until the day I die I will not understand how it is possible it would take us days to get an act of human decency together which is simply to be able to gather the remains in a respectful way, bring them to a morgue and bring them back home."

    Silent march for restaurant owners Jenny Loh and Popo Fan in Rotterdam. 21 July 2014 In the Dutch city of Rotterdam, friends and relatives have taken part in a silent march to pay their respects to restaurant owners Jenny Loh and Popo Fan, who died on Flight MH17.
    The Netherlands Mission at the UN

    tweets: Netherlands at #UNSC meeting: 'allow us to bring the victims' remains home to their loved ones without any further delay.' #MH17


    A team of Australian experts has also now arrived in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to assist with the Flight MH17 crash investigation, AP news agency reports.


    The BBC's Nick Bryant at the UN in New York says the security council chamber has felt more a courtroom in the past few days with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the dock.


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