As it happened: MH17 bodies transferred

Key Points

  • The bodies of some 200 of the 298 people on Flight MH17 are being prepared for transfer by plane from Ukraine to the Netherlands
  • Reports suggest the crash site in rebel-held territory is being compromised, with pieces of wreckage cut into, possibly to retrieve victims
  • UK investigators are to examine flight recorders recovered from the wreckage, which the rebels handed over to Malaysian officials
  • Russia denies allegations the jet was hit by a missile it supplied to the rebels
  • EU states are moving closer to a new round of sanctions against Russia
  • Fighting continues between the rebels and government forces
  • All times BST (GMT +1)

    Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the MH17 air disaster aftermath. A train carrying remains of victims of the crash in east Ukraine has just arrived in the city of Kharkiv, outside the conflict zone. With separatist rebels suspected of shooting down the jet, EU foreign ministers are considering more sanctions against Russia, which is accused of arming the rebels. Stay with us for breaking news, analysis and colour from correspondents, and comment from the web.

    UK Foreign Office (FCO)

    tweets: FS [Foreign Secretary] Hammond earlier - Today's EU meeting "is an opportunity for us to send a very clear message to Russia".


    Ukraine's parliament has approved a presidential decree to call up more military reserves and men under 50 to fight the rebels and defend the border against a concentration of Russian troops, Reuters reports. After the vote, the agency says, scuffles broke out between nationalist politicians and members of the party that was led by the former President, Viktor Yanukovych, who was overthrown in February.

    Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy of the EU

    tweets: EU Foreign Ministers pay tribute to victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 by a minute of silence at start of Foreign Affairs Council.

    09:57: BBC Monitoring

    Five refrigerated freight wagons carrying remains of people on Flight MH17 and a passenger carriage marked "Donbass-Moscow" arrived at Kharkiv-Balashovsky train station and are due to be taken to the Malyshev tank factory where the bodies will be loaded into refrigeration units supplied by the Dutch - Interfax-Ukraine news agency reporter at the scene. The train is surrounded by a police guard, the reporter adds.

    Jill Gay, Melbourne, Australia

    emails: I have been friends with Martine de Schutter since 1992. She was on MH17. She was to have spoken here at IAC [International AIDS Conference] in Melbourne and we were scheduled to have dinner together last night. It is a huge loss personally for the HIV field globally.


    This photo of the train was tweeted by the BBC's Gavin Lee.

    Train carrying victims

    The West has so far refrained from "Level Three" sanctions - measures which would target entire sectors of Russia's economy. As a result, companies in Russia's crucial energy sector can still do business with Western partners, but they will probably find it harder to get Western loans. So how far do EU-US sanctions on Russia go? The BBC has this analysis.

    Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine

    tweets: Welcome the arrival of remains from MH17 victims in Kharkiv. We honor them & must now ensure a full, unimpeded investigation to show truth.


    Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (L) and new UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond chat prior to the start of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

    Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (L) and new UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond chat prior to the start of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

    Governments should decide how risk assessments for airspace are made, the head of the International Air Transport Association is quoted by Reuters as saying. He was speaking after airlines called for a summit following the crash of MH17. "No effort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is not repeated," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said.

    Sydney Morning Herald

    tweets: Malaysia Airlines says it is determined to rebuild trust with passengers following twin tragedies of MH370 and MH17

    10:08: BBC Monitoring

    Ukraine has formally asked countries whose citizens died in the disaster to send police to the crash site to secure any evidence there from possible interference.


    The passenger list released by Malaysia Airlines shows the plane was carrying 193 Dutch nationals (including one with dual US nationality), 43 Malaysians (including 15 crew), 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 Britons (including one with dual South African nationality), four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines, and one each from Canada and New Zealand.


    There is a host of background material on the crash on a specially dedicated BBC News page.

    10:13: BBC Monitoring

    Ukraine's parliament also called on the world community to recognise the plane crash as "an act of terror which was made possible by the Russian leadership's support for the militants". Findings reached by the Ukrainian security services indicate that the plane was shot down using a missile system supplied by Russia and manned by Russian soldiers, says a resolution approved by Ukrainian MPs.

    The BBC's Will Vernon

    tweets: Smell of rotting corpses v bad at crash site. OSCE now carrying out observation #MH17


    A former Russian intelligence officer who calls himself "Strelkov" (English: "Rifleman")? A "professional consultant" with a history of involvement in post-Soviet conflicts? Just who are the rebels fighting Ukraine's new government? Read our guide to key players.

    The photos show Strelkov kissing an icon and Alexander Borodai with a bodyguard.

    "Strelkov" kissing an Orthodox Christian icon in Donetsk, 10 July
    Alexander Borodai with a bodyguard in Donetsk, 20 July

    Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius blames "terrorists supplied by Moscow" for the airliner's destruction, adding that he hopes the EU will impose beefed-up sanctions on Russia, AP news agency reports. Mr Linkevicius, it adds, is also calling for an arms embargo.

    Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Dutch air accident investigators say Ukraine crash site is too unsafe to begin their work

    Russia Today

    tweets: BREAKING: #Ukraine air force strikes 30km from #MH17 crash site despite ban - @ria_novosti

    The BBC's Fergal Keane

    tweets: #MH17 Militiaman rants a political speech at journalists next to Malaysian experts at crash site. extraordinary

    10:39: Nick Robinson Political Editor

    Whitehall sources say that the timing of an announcement of a public inquiry into whether the Russian state was responsible for the murder of the dissident Andrei Litvinenko is pure coincidence. The police and security services concluded a long time ago that this was a state-sponsored murder.


    Mr Litvinenko, a former KGB officer, died in 2006 in a London hospital after he was allegedly poisoned with radioactive polonium. The investigation will examine whether the Russian state was behind his death.


    The Red Cross has made a "confidential legal assessment that Ukraine is officially in a war", Western diplomats and officials quoted by Reuters say. This, the agency says, means that possible war crimes prosecutions can go ahead, including a case over the alleged shooting down of the airliner. "Clearly it's an international conflict and therefore this is most probably a war crime," a Western diplomat in Geneva told Reuters.

    10:51: Natalia Tropeshko, pro-rebel blogger based in Luhansk

    tweets [in Russian]: A sushka [slang for Sukhoi bomber] is circling over Luhansk again. Risk of new air strike.

    Grainne McCarthy, Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Much of #MH17 site maybe already contaminated after locals, rebels, press walked with unhindered access for days.


    Malaysia's deal with pro-Russian rebels on MH17 caps an official response to the disaster that is being hailed at home as a "swift and clear counterpoint to the government's widely mocked reaction" to the disappearance of MH370 on 8 March, Channel NewsAsia says. In "stark contrast to the handling of MH370", it says, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government responded speedily and coherently to the MH17 crash.

    National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine

    tweets: Explorations of the #MH17 crash site are completed. Over 140 sq. km were inspected including 2.1 sq. km of Hrabovske reservoir


    Parts of the plane wreckage have been changed since OSCE officials at the site last saw it, spokesman Michael Bociurkiw tells BBC World Update. Large pieces of the plane have been cut into, he says.

    The BBC's Fergal Keane

    tweets: #MH17 now woman has arrived carrying piece of rocket she says fired at her village. Wants to give to OSCE.


    The OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw adds: "We have brought three groups of experts - Ukrainian, Dutch forensics and now three Malaysian experts. They have got in and out of the area without much trouble at all."

    The BBC's Fergal Keane

    tweets: We r suffering too is message [from woman who brought fragment of rocket]. But it is strange 2 c this here in the middle of tragedy site.

    The BBC's Will Vernon

    tweets: Malaysian experts arrive at crash site and apparently carry out inspection

    Malaysian experts arrive at crash site

    Donetsk, Luhansk and other east Ukrainian towns were under fire "nearly the whole night", a rebel source says in an update (in Russian). The Ukrainian army used large-calibre artillery, howitzers and multiple rocket launchers, according to the statement, published on a blog associated with separatist military commander Strelkov. Since then air strikes have been reported in three places, the source says.


    A Ukrainian policeman watches as the train carrying bodies arrives in Kharkiv.

    A Ukrainian policeman watches as the train carrying bodies arrives in Kharkiv, 22 July


    Members of Ukraine's parliament fighting in the chamber in Kiev over the mobilisation decree.

    Members fighting in Ukraine's parliament in Kiev, 22 July
    Sumisha Naidu, Channel News Asia

    tweets: "I would like to thank the Malaysian team on the ground, who have worked hard to support this operation." - Malaysian PM @NajibRazak #MH17


    A HIV/Aids conference in Melbourne, Australia, is going ahead with candlelit vigils to honour at least six victims of the MH17 crash who were due to attend, and to honour people who have died from the illness.

    Members of the public hold candles to mourn the victims of HIV/Aids and those who died on flight MH17 during a candlelight vigil at Federation Square, Melbourne
    A member of the public holds candles to mourn the victims of HIV/Aids and those who died on flight MH17 during a candlelight vigil at Federation Square, Melbourne
    Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent

    tweets: #mh17 OSCE saying wreckage tampered with... cut with diesel saw

    11:27: BBC Monitoring

    Thirteen Ukrainian soldiers have been killed over the past 24 hours, Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko says. Three of them died as an explosives-packed bus blew up at a roadblock. A suicide bombing is unlikely because the separatists' motivation is "running very low", Mr Lysenko suggests.

    Sumisha Naidu, Channel News Asia

    tweets: "we are closer to finding out what happened to aircraft & fulfilling our shared responsibility to those who lost their lives"@NajibRazak #MH17


    Malaysia announces it will keep hold of the voice and data recorders from the crashed plane until an international team is formed, Reuters reports. Only then will it hand them over, the agency says.

    11:33: BBC Monitoring

    Ukraine's army has captured the strategically important town of Severodonetsk, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov tweets (in Russian).

    UK Foreign Office (FCO)

    tweets: Arrival of #mh17 train in #Kharkiv: important that the victims are returned to their families as quickly as possible


    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says that while his country is still willing to talk to Russia, greater economic pressure is needed to make Moscow change course, Reuters reports. "I say we remain open to defusing the situation with all political and diplomatic means but it will be necessary to accompany this willingness with higher pressure, which also means sharper measures," he tells reporters on arrival at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels.


    The train carrying bodies of MH17 victims arriving at the Malyshev tank plant in Kharkiv.

    Train arrives at Malyshev tank plant in Kharkiv, 22 July

    Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans - speaking ahead of the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels - said that his country was not opposed to further sanctions, Reuters reports. "There is no Dutch blockade of further sanctions. The Netherlands wants that the European Union makes a united, and also strong, clear, statement against the unrest in eastern Ukraine."


    EU officials quoted by Reuters say that foreign ministers meeting today in Brussels are unlikely to add more names and entities to asset freezes and visa bans, since any decision to move to "Phase Three" economic sanctions would require a summit of EU leaders, Reuters reports. It says that the next summit is not due until 30 August, although heads of state and government could convene earlier if there is agreement.


    The Russian finance ministry says that it is cancelling this week's treasury bonds auction due to "unfavourable market conditions", Reuters reports.


    If you are just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of the continuing operation to recover human remains and evidence in eastern Ukraine after Thursday's air disaster. Pro-rebels rebels collected most of the 298 bodies from the site, located in an area under their control, and allowed them to be transported to Kharkiv, which is under government control, and out of the war zone. Meanwhile, international monitors say parts of the plane's wreckage have been changed since they first saw it. And in Brussels, EU foreign ministers are mooting new sanctions against Russia.


    The UK's new Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, says he will urge his EU counterparts to "send a very clear and strong signal to Russia today". "This terrible incident happened in the first place because of Russia's support to the separatists in eastern Ukraine, because of the flow of heavy weapons from Russia into eastern Ukraine and we have to address that today."


    Colin Brazier, the Sky News journalist who was strongly criticised for picking up MH17 victims' luggage live on air, has apologised for his "error of judgement" in the Guardian newspaper. The newspaper says his apology is the most read story on its website.


    Newcastle United fans join the team in a moment of silence in honour of two fans of the team who lost their lives in the MH17 crash. The moment was observed during a game between Sydney FC and Newcastle at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

    Newcastle United fans join the team in a moment of silence in honour of two fans of the team who lost their lives in the MH17 crash during a game between Sydney FC and Newcastle at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand
    Fergal Keane

    tweets: #OSCE say wreckage has been cut into with power saw.


    Reports speak of fierce fighting between separatist rebels and government forces, who have been pushing them back into the two big cities of eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk. Photos just in show a charred Ukrainian tank on the northern outskirts of Donetsk, said to have been destroyed by the rebels on Monday. Bodies of three Ukrainian soldiers lie nearby.

    A rebel checks burnt tank near Donetsk, 22 July
    Mohd Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

    tweets: Read: PM Dato' Sri Najib Razak welcomes progress on #MH17 agreement


    French President Francois Hollande is defending plans to sell two warships to the Russian navy for a total of 886m euros (£700m; $1.2bn) despite increasing pressure for tougher sanctions against Russia.

    French-built warship BPC Vladivostok (5 March 2014)
    12:11: Imelda Flattery, BBC News

    The flight to the Netherlands with the bodies on board will go to Eindhoven, not Schiphol, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announces. And from there the bodies will be taken to a facility in Hilversum. It could take weeks or months to inform the families.

    Gavin Hewitt, BBC Europe editor

    tweets: Dutch PM says first bodies from Ukraine will arrive back in Netherlands Wednesday #malaysianplanecrash


    It is not yet clear how many of the bodies will arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday. "Tomorrow the first plane will leave for Eindhoven," Mr Rutte said.


    The first bodies of victims of the Flight MH17 disaster are due to be flown to the Netherlands on Wednesday, the Dutch prime minister announces. Of the 298 passengers and crew in the flight, at least 193 were Dutch.


    It is time for the Netherlands to "man up to Russia" argues columnist Bas Heijne in "The truth is that for too long the Dutch government has coddled the dictator in Moscow, looking past [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's blatant offences against human decency," he writes. "The Russian president, in his letter of condolence to [Dutch Prime Minister] Rutte over the air disaster, agreed to the Dutch demand for an independent inquiry. But if the Dutch government's past behaviour toward Putin is any guide, there will be little follow-up."


    A KLM employee holds a toy near a sea of tributes to the dead at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam.

    A KLM employee holds a toy near a sea of tributes to the dead at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, 22 July

    Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls on the US and Europe to work together to develop tougher sanctions on Russia, AP reports. She backs President Barack Obama's calls for a thorough investigation into the MH17 crash. Mrs Clinton said tougher sanctions would make clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin "that there is a price to pay for this kind of behaviour".

    The BBC's Will Vernon

    tweets: Sustained rocket fire, possibly Grad, audible in distance as Malaysian experts carry out #MH17 crash site observation #Ukraine


    President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do everything it can to influence the rebels in eastern Ukraine into allowing a full investigation into the circumstances of the MH17 crash, Reuters reports.


    President Putin says that Western powers should also exert influence on Ukraine to end the fighting in the east, Reuters reports.

    Russia Today

    tweets: BREAKING: West should demand Kiev obey ceasefire during #MH17 plane crash probe - Putin


    President Putin says that Russia must strengthen its military capability to counter Nato activity in eastern Europe, Reuters reports.

    12:37: BBC Monitoring

    "There have been calls for us to exercise influence on the militias in the south-east [of Ukraine]," President Putin says. "We will, of course, do all we can."

    12:38: BBC Monitoring

    Russia fully abides by international law and its commitments to partners, President Putin says, and other countries should take account of Russia's national interests. Any disputes, he says, should be resolved by legal means.

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    tweets:"Thank you Mr Putin for murdering my loved and only child": Father writes emotional letter to Russian leader. #MH17


    A camouflage sheet is hung for privacy at the tank factory in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, where the bodies have been brought.

    A camouflage sheet is hung for privacy at the tank factory in Kharkiv where the bodies have been brought, 22 July
    Juergen Baetz, Associated Press, Brussels

    tweets: #Ukraine's foreign minister Klimkin now addressing European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee


    Attitudes towards Russia have changed "fundamentally" since the air disaster and the EU must put pressure Russia to do more to calm unrest in eastern Ukraine, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says. "We want justice, a united European Union approach and pressure on Russia to do more," Reuters quotes him as saying. "Our priorities are getting our people back, an independent investigation and justice."


    Russia must "adequately and commensurately" react to Nato's military infrastructure moving closer to its borders, President Putin says, pointing out that methods used by "outside forces" in Ukraine will not work against Russia.

    13:08: Norman Smith, BBC Chief Political Correpondent

    Downing Street says that President Putin still has "a very considerable way to go" in co-operating over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner.

    The BBC's Natalia Antelava

    tweets: Finally! Malaysian expert at the #mh17 crash site or rather what's left of it. #ukraine

    Malaysian expert at the MH17 crash site

    AFP reporters with pro-Russian rebels in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk report hearing artillery fire coming from the Ukrainian side in the village of Oktyabrsky - close to the city's airport. "They're firing on civilians. These are Ukrainians. They have become like wild animals," it quotes one of the fighters as saying.

    13:11: BBC Monitoring

    Thirteen Ukrainian troops have been killed over the past 24 hours in the troubled Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the spokesman for the National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, tells a briefing. His remarks were broadcast live on the news-based 5 Kanal TV.

    The BBC's Fergal Keane

    tweets: #MH17 can see smoke from distant rocket strike we heard earlier. Malaysians can see it too.

    Norman Smith, BBC Chief Political Correspondent

    Downing Street has denied that the decision to launch a public inquiry into the killing of the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko is in response to the downing of the Malaysian airliner. The Number 10 spokesman said: "There is not a link whatsoever."


    A piece of wreckage from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 which crashed in eastern Ukraine last week "bears telltale marks of small pieces of high-velocity shrapnel that apparently crippled the jet in flight", the New York Times reports.


    President Putin's comments were his first detailed public response to Western criticism of Russia's role in Ukraine, Reuters reports, pointing out that he was reading from notes at the head of a long table with officials seated on each side. "Putin spoke much more forcefully than during brief televised remarks on the plane's downing first released in the early hours of Monday, when he had seemed less assured than usual," it says.


    In his statement, President Putin reiterated his belief that protests which toppled Ukraine's former Russian-backed leader [President Viktor Yanukovych] were instigated and funded from abroad, Reuters says. Despite Western sanctions, he said Moscow would stand by separatists in eastern Ukraine whom he described as part of a popular rising against an illegal coup.


    President Putin also said in his statement that: "Russia is being presented with what is almost an ultimatum: 'Let us destroy this part of the population that is ethnically and historically close to Russia and we will not impose sanctions against you. This is a strange and unacceptable logic."


    Russian President Vladimir Putin made his comments while chairing a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting of the Security Council in Moscow (22 July 2014)
    Karel van Oosterom, Permanent Representative to the UN for the Netherlands

    tweets: #Netherlands newspapers today contain one page with names of the Dutch victims of #MH17 "Shocked and sad".

    13:43: BBC Monitoring

    The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called on Iran to prepare for flights to Europe, the ILNA news agency has reported. "Following the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine's territory, ICAO and IATA chose Iran because of the safety of its air routes... It is worth mentioning that the reduction in the number of pathways will increase transit flights by 30% which will add $50m (£29m) to our annual income," ILNA quoted the acting head of Iran's airports, Mohammad Ali Ilkhani, as saying.


    There is now a good reason why Malaysia said so little in the days following the international public outcry over the MH17 crash, Reuters reports. "The reasons for that reticence - which had drawn criticism at home - became clear on Tuesday, when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced shortly after midnight that his government had negotiated the release of the remains of nearly 300 victims of Flight MH17 from separatist-held territory," it says.


    Reuters also says Malaysia's prime minister, working through intermediaries to reach Alexander Borodai, the self-styled prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, was a key figure in brokering the deal, according to Malaysian sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

    The BBC's Fergal Keane

    tweets: #MH17 I asked #OSCE if anybody "really in control" of area. He sd: I'd rather not comment.


    EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton says the priority for the foreign ministers' meeting on Tuesday was to deal with the concerns of the Netherlands, which lost more nationals in the disaster than any other. She said that meant repatriation of the victims' bodies and a full investigation of the crash and its cause. Of the 298 people who died aboard the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight, 193 were Dutch citizens.

    13:50: BBC Monitoring

    Russia's Foreign Ministry has expressed "satisfaction" over the handover of MH17 flight recorders to Malaysian representatives, and says it expects the black boxes to be passed on to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).


    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says his government aims to have the first bodies returned on Wednesday. "It is our aim - and at the moment our expectation - that sometime tomorrow the first plane carrying victims will leave for Eindhoven,'' he was quoted by AP as saying.

    Stefan Kirchner, Rovaniemi, Finland

    tweets: #MH17: #Netherlands now say that they will no longer block #EU sanctions against #Russia over #Ukraine. A strong reaction looks different.


    The New York Times says defence experts have concluded damage to MH17 - including shrapnel holes and blistered paint on a panel of the destroyed plane's exterior - "is consistent with the effects of a fragmenting warhead carried by an SA-11 missile, known in Russian as a Buk".

    A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (22 July 2014)
    13:59: BBC Monitoring

    Ukraine is sending a military rescue plane to Russia on Wednesday to collect some of the 22 Ukrainian soldiers who are being treated in Russian hospitals, the head of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's medical department, Vitaliy Andronatiy, says. Two members of the Ukrainian military died in Russian hospitals earlier, he said in a statement in Ukrainian posted on the defence ministry's website.


    EU governments will discuss a specific list of possible new targets for sanctions against Russia at today's meeting in Brussels but will make no decisions, unnamed diplomats tell Reuters. "The European Commission will propose new names for [discussion] on Thursday," one said.

    Mike, Wigan, England

    tweets: Seems the only reaction of EU governments to #MH17 is to argue among themselves and do nothing.


    When the bodies were brought by rail to Kharkiv, the freight wagons carrying them were shunted into the Malyshev tank works. It is a working factory. This new tank left its gates today.

    Tank emerging from tank factory in Kharkiv, 22 July
    14:41: BBC Monitoring

    Russian MP Andrei Lugovoi, a prime suspect in the death of former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in London, says he is unlikely to attend the public inquiry announced by the British government. He dismisses it as "the height of cynicism" and politically motivated. "The West is intensifying the pressure on Russia, and personally on the head of state, Vladimir Putin," he is quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

    Dadlani, Berlin, Germany

    tweets: the handling of the situation after the #MH17 crash just makes me sooo angry, just cannot imagine how relatives must feel. so sorry for them

    Phil Hatton, Melbourne, Australia

    tweets: Why does Abbott keep referring to 'dead bodies'? Dutch PM and FM refers to #MH17 passengers and crew as 'victims' . Dignity. #auspol


    More details of that charred tank photographed on the northern outskirts of Donetsk, with dead soldiers lying nearby. A rebel fighter called Senya tells AP it was attacked after being used against "civilian houses" in the area on Monday. The tank is reportedly parked on the side of the road, pointed in the direction of Donetsk. Rebel leaders earlier accused the Ukrainian army of trying to break into the city with tanks.


    Russian stocks have bounced back after three days of losses, with investors buoyed by signs of greater international co-operation as the inquiry into the air crash begins, AFP reports.

    Kevin Bishop, BBC News

    tweets: Long column of Ukrainian military vehicles, mainly logistical, passing through Sloviansk [a former rebel stronghold in Donetsk region] today

    Ukrainian column passing through Sloviansk, 22 July
    15:06: BBC Monitoring

    The separatist leader in Luhansk, Valery Bolotov, has ordered a counter-offensive after a string of advances by the Ukrainian army. He said he was taking action in part because of the "critical humanitarian situation in Luhansk caused by its blockade".

    The BBC's Olexiy Solohubenko

    tweets: #Russia military involvement in #Ukraine may cost a fifth of average income via @Aleksei_Kudrin


    A lab in the UK will receive the jet's flight recorders, Malaysian deputy transport minister Aziz Kaprawi has told Reuters. "The procedure is to have the black boxes sent to the nearest lab that is authorised by the ICAO [ International Civil Aviation Organisation] for analysis," he said.

    Balliauw, Reporter at VRT, Brussels

    tweets: BREAKING: Belgian Air Force plane flies to #Kiev to pick up black boxes #MH17. They will be flown to London for further investigation.


    Ukrainian government troops have retaken the town of Popasna in Luhansk region, writes Donbas battalion commander Semen Semenchenko on his Facebook page (in Russian).

    David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

    tweets: We've agreed Dutch request for air accident investigators at Farnborough to retrieve data from #MH17 black boxes for international analysis.

    15:34: Richard Galpin, BBC News, Kharkiv

    A spokeswoman for the Dutch forensics team says all the bodies will be kept in the rail carriages for next few days while they are prepared to be transported to the Netherlands. They will be put in wooden coffins for the flight. This preparation takes time to show the utmost respect and caution for human remains.


    A spokesperson for the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch in Farnborough confirms the organisation "has been asked to carry out the data analysis of the MH17 black boxes".


    Malaysian air crash investigators continue their grim search for clues in the fields of east Ukraine, under the eyes of pro-Russian rebel fighters.

    Malaysian air crash investigators near the village of Grabove, east Ukraine, 22 July
    Seats from the jet near Grabove, east Ukraine, 22 July
    A rebel guards Malaysian air crash investigators near the village of Grabove, east Ukraine, 22 July
    Rebels near the village of Grabove, east Ukraine, 22 July
    The BBC's Kevin Bishop, Ukraine
    Tank factory in Kharkiv Tank factory in Kharkiv

    tweets: The first stage of the journey home - a tank factory in Kharkiv where the remains of #MH17 passengers are tonight


    A map produced by Ukraine's security and defence council purports to show the state of the "anti-terrorist operation" in the east as of today. Red arrows show security forces advancing from three directions. Map tweeted by the Novosti Donbassa news agency.

    Ukrainian government map, 22 July

    EU foreign ministers have taken "unanimous" and "forceful" decisions on enhanced sanctions against Russia and Russian interests over Ukraine, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says, emerging from the meeting in Brussels. More details as we get them.


    The euro has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar this year amid the heightened tensions over Ukraine, AP news agency reports. The single currency is now at $1.3464, its lowest level since last November.


    Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says the list of Russian individuals and groups covered by EU sanctions will be broadened and a new list drawn up by EU ambassadors by Thursday at the latest. The European Commission will look at further measures against Russia in defence and financial services, he adds.

    The BBC's Kevin Bishop, Ukraine

    tweets: The Malaysian colonel was talking to the media outside the Kharkiv factory where #MH17 bodies are being kept

    Malaysian colonel in Ukraine. 22 July 2014
    Larry, Oxford, England

    emails: Didn't we have a European Quick Reaction Force once upon a time? I thought we were paying for one. As soon as the aircraft was destroyed in the air, European security forces (or American) should have secured a cordon around the debris field, informing Russia and Ukraine of its actions. If ANY other armed group (or nation) tried to prevent this or interfere - they should have been turned away or destroyed. The aircraft and its passengers/crew were nothing to do with this petty squabble that is being continued and fed by both Russia and Ukraine.

    The BBC's Kevin Bishop, Ukraine

    tweets: Why black boxes to UK? Only 2 specialist replay units in Europe. They have equipment to listen to the audio recorded. Other one in France.


    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says Ukraine has launched a criminal case against Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Interfax-Ukraine reports. Mr Shoigu is accused of creating illegal paramilitary or armed groups in Ukraine. "Helping bandits is a punishable crime," Mr Avakov wrote on his Facebook page.


    The office of UK Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that air accident investigators at Farnborough will download the data from the "black boxes" of flight MH17. His spokesman says the information will then be sent to Dutch and Ukrainian teams for analysis.


    Wreckage at the crash site is being guarded by pro-Russian rebels but international observers say evidence is being compromised.

    Crash site in Ukraine. 22 July 2014

    If you are just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of day six of the Flight MH17 crisis in Ukraine. It is believed the bodies of 282 of the 298 people aboard the jet are now being kept at a tank factory in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, ahead of their transfer by plane to the Netherlands, where the flight originated. Pro-Russian rebels who control the crash site have handed over flight recorders which are due to be examined by experts in the UK. In Brussels, EU states are moving closer to a new round of sanctions on Russia itself. And on the ground in east Ukraine, as investigators try to collect evidence, fighting between the rebels and advancing government forces goes on.


    BBC transport journalist Jonathan Sumberg says the UK air investigation unit can analyse in minute detail what can be heard in the last few minutes of flight MH17. Investigators gather in a sealed room and four speakers create a surround sound - anything that increases the chances of helping investigators hear exactly what went on. They may even hear an explosion on the recording, he says.

    The BBC's Imelda Flattery
    Military facility near Hilversum

    tweets: The military facility near Hilversum were bodies from #MH17 will be taken for identification.


    US President Barack Obama signs a book of condolence at the Netherlands embassy in Washington, saying Americans are "heartbroken" by the loss of so many Dutch citizens on the Malaysia Airlines flight.

    President Obama and Deputy Chief of Mission Peter Mollema. 22 July 2014
    Kristoffer Nielsen, Oslo

    emails: In light of the MH17 tragedy, I am slightly surprised that no one is questioning why ICAO had not imposed a no-fly zone in the skies above eastern Ukraine where several aircraft had already been downed by air defence weapons? Is the UN organisation pressured by airline owners to keep these routes open no matter what? What am I, as a traveller, risking when I board a commercial airline?

    Ken Wildy, Sydney, Australia

    emails: An entire Indonesian family, father, mother and three kids, all gone. They lived in Sydney. Only pics remain and were close friends via work mates for past 20 years. As true Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist, all karma will be playing a real role in this conflict. Diamuku chanting will ease this great calamity and loss of good persons.


    International police agency Interpol says its team in Ukraine has started the process of identifying the bodies that have arrived in Kharkiv. It says that once preliminary examinations are completed, is it expected that the victims will be transported to the Netherlands, where the full identification process will be carried out in accordance with Interpol standards.


    Metinvest's Avdiivka coke plant near Donetsk, one of the largest in Europe, was damaged overnight as a result of artillery fire, a statement on its website says. "Several shells hit the enterprise's core production shops. The storage facility for coal tar, which is used for the production of coal tar pitch, was partially destroyed and the electricity transmission lines that feed the plant were damaged." As a result, other firms will supply Metinvest's metallurgical plants temporarily. Metinvest is owned by Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov.

    Stephanie Berke, Tourbes. Languedoc, France

    emails: It is surprising and saddening to me that there has been virtually no compassionate reporting on the murdered Captain and crew members who were aboard the flight. In this day and age there is certainly an increased risk of terrorist activity on all flights, as recent trans-Atlantic flights, for example, have shown. I would certainly like to see some recognition of their lives, and their families' loss.


    The BBC's David Stern in Kiev says intense fighting continues in the region. Reporters at the MH17 crash site said they heard what sounded like a Grad multiple missile launcher being fired in the distance, he adds.

    17:58: Breaking News Richard Galpin, BBC News, Kharkiv

    The head of the Dutch forensics team, police officer Jain Tuinder, says the train which arrived in Kharkiv today contains 200 bodies, significantly less than that claimed by the rebels.

    18:01: Richard Galpin, BBC News, Kharkiv

    Speaking at a news conference in Kharkiv, Mr Tuinder said they would have to go back to the crash site to carry out another search. "We will not leave until [all the] remains have left this country so we will have to go on and bargain again with the people over there," he said. On Monday, the rebels' political leader, Alexander Borodai, said there were 282 bodies and 87 body parts.


    Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, says on the Ukrayina TV channel that 14 Russian-made Grad multiple launch rocket systems were smuggled into Ukraine today.


    In an unscheduled stop at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, US President Barack Obama offered his "deepest condolences" on behalf of the American people.


    This is what he wrote: "On behalf of the American people, I extend our deepest condolences to the people of the Netherlands as they mourn the loss of so many family and friends. No words can adequately express the sorrow the world feels over this loss. It is made more acute by the deep ties of friendship between our two countries. Bound by that friendship, we will not rest until we are certain that justice is done. God Bless, Barack Obama"


    The unique challenges facing the crash investigators is examined in detail here.

    Richard Galpin, BBC News, Kharkiv

    tweets: International forensics teams in #Kharkiv #Ukraine will put bodies from #malaysianplanecrash #MH17 into wooden coffins 4 flight to #Holland

    Jacek Krawczyk, aviation expert, European Economic and Social Committee

    tweets: Only clear reaction of PUTIN to #MH17 tragedy is today's declaration to introduce more RUS military presence because of "threat" from @NATO

    Malaysian crash investigators

    Malaysian plane crash investigators set to work for the first time on Tuesday.

    Professor Michael McFaul, Stanford, California

    tweets: .@Kasparov63 when Medvedev cancelled S300 sale to Iran, they paid Iranians back. Seems like respected country like France could do the same

    Schiphol airport

    A mountain of floral tributes at Schiphol airport reflects the depth of grief felt in the Netherlands. The BBC's Anna Holligan filed this report.

    The BBC's Imelda Flattery

    tweets: Dutch Government has announced a national day of mourning tomorrow Wednesday. #MH17


    Reflecting on the EU's intention to impose more sanctions against Russia, BBC business correspondent Theo Leggett says: "This will include restrictions on Russian firms access to capital markets, a possible arms embargo and curbs on the trade in energy sector technology - which may affect the nuclear industry. Although details are sketchy, this would clearly represent a more potent threat to Russia's interests. But it hasn't been introduced yet, for a very simple reason. Trade between Russia and the EU is worth more than 320 billion dollars a year."


    Reuters news agency reports that the US is to reveal more intelligence later that supports claims the missile that hit MH17 came from a rebel-held area in Ukraine.


    Senior US senators are asking President Barack Obama to introduce tougher measures against Russia and to consider putting Ukrainian separatist group "Donetsk People's Republic" on a US terror blacklist. In a letter, Bob Menendez, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin said Russia's defence, energy and finance sectors should be targeted.


    Meanwhile, the French warships being built for Russia have been condemned as "completely inappropriate" by the US State Department, Associated Press reports. "We don't think anyone should be providing arms to Russia," a spokeswoman said.

    Kevin Bishop, BBC News, Ukraine

    tweets: We do not think bodies have gone missing - higher figure was never confirmed by Dutch. Reliable monitor counted 200 bodies put on train.


    Among the flowers at Schiphol airport was a photo of Dutch victim Elsemiek de Borst.

    Photo of Dutch victim Elsemiek de Borst
    C Geest, Oxford, England

    emails: All those pointless conflicts in the world. And they are pointless as nothing ever changes. The moment you think your issue is more valuable than another person's, you have missed the point. All those poor people are dead. I hope those who fired, one day will understand the enormity of their atrocity and feel that pain. Somehow I have little hope of that.


    Heather Conley, director of the Europe programme at Washington think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the MH17 disaster has turned the political tide in Europe in favour of tough sanctions aimed at pushing Russia to sever ties to the Ukrainian separatists


    On BBC News Channel, Ms Conley notes the Russian economy had already been flagging even before the outbreak of hostilities in eastern Ukraine.


    In the Washington Post, the head of the US Air Force space command dismissed suggestions from Russia that the US government was bluffing or exaggerating when it said it had evidence that pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17. "I will say this about our satellites: They are very good satellites," Gen William Shelton said. "They are very sensitive and they are very accurate."


    Also in the Post, reporter Michael Birnbaum interviews a woman whose kitchen was destroyed on Thursday when a body fell through her roof from MH17. "We never expected people falling from the sky," Inna Tipunova told him. "They were falling like rain."

    Service near the the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine. 22 July 2014

    At the scene of the crash near the the village of Grabove, eastern Ukraine, women knelt and laid flowers before a religious service in memory of the victims.


    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius revealed his irritation with British criticism over a French deal to sell warships to Russia, AFP reports. In an interview on Tuesday on French television, Mr Fabius said: "Dear British friends, let's also talk about finance. I was led to believe that there were quite a few Russian oligarchs in London," the agency reports.

    Fergal Keane BBC News

    tweets: #MH17 1/3 On bodies issue, repeat this investigation, counting happening in often chaotic conditions.

    Fergal Keane BBC News

    tweets: MH17 2/2 Shouldn't rush to conclusions about bodies being held back. My sense over several days is disorganisation + lack of resources

    Fergal Keane BBC News

    tweets: MH17 3/3 often major cause of confusion. Tho this of course doesn't lessen anguish for families of the dead.

    E.G.B, London

    emails: If these satellites are that good, so as to be able to see and determine a shot to the air, then this new misfortune could prove that these satellites have definitely seen, or determined what happened to the previous tragedy of the same airline this year!

    Kevin Bishop, BBC News, Ukraine

    tweets: A farewell ceremony will be held at Kharkiv airport at 11am local time Wednesday for the first 50 bodies of #MH17 passengers and crew


    Poignant reminders of the toll of the disaster are still scattered across the crash site in eastern Ukraine.

    A shoe lies next to melted aluminum at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
    The BBC's Imelda Flattery

    tweets: At Eindhoven Airport tomorrow a bugler will mark the arrival of the planes carrying the passengers from #MH17. A minute silence will follow


    The Dutch government says the arrival of the bodies will be attended by relatives, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima and representatives from other countries that had victims on board. Bells will also ring across the country, particularly in the five minutes up to the arrival of the planes.


    US intelligence officials are being quoted by news agencies as saying they believe pro-Russian separatists probably shot down flight MH17 "by mistake".


    The officials said they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of the plane, but that Russia "created the conditions'' for it by arming the separatists, AP reports.


    Russia's claims around the crash are not plausible, the intelligence officials are quoted as saying by AFP.


    That brings us to the end of our live coverage of today's events following the crash of flight MH17. The bodies of some 200 of those on board are being prepared for transfer to the Netherlands and the EU is moving closer to a new round of sanctions against Russia. Tomorrow, the Netherlands holds a day of national mourning as the bodies return to Dutch soil. For the latest coverage, visit the BBC News homepage.


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