Disgusting: Pro-Russian rebels seize MH17 victims’ bodies at gunpoint

posted at 6:31 pm on July 20, 2014 by Noah Rothman

The Associated Press reported on Sunday that pro-Russian rebels forced emergency works to surrender custody of 196 bodies recovered from the wreckage of the downed Malaysian airliner at gunpoint. Ukrainian officials and monitors said on Sunday that militants loaded the bodies onto refrigerated train cars and sent them off to an unknown location.

“Ukraine’s Emergency Ministry said its workers were laboring under duress and forced to hand over the bodies,” the AP reported.

Nataliya Khuruzhaya, a duty officer at the train station in Torez, 9 miles from the crash site, said she saw emergency workers loading plane victims’ bodies Sunday morning into five sealed, refrigerated train cars. Alexander Pilyushny, an emergency worker combing the crash site for body parts Sunday morning, told the AP the he and other workers had no choice but to hand the bodies over to the rebels. “They are armed and we are not,” Pilyushny said. “The militiamen came, put the bodies onto the trucks and took them away.”

This report is one of several indicating that rebel forces are preventing an impartial investigation into the plane crash from taking place. On Sunday, a pro-Russian separatist leader, Alexander Borodai, confirmed that rebel forces had recovered the plane’s black boxes, as several prior reports indicated, but that he planned to hand them over to an international aviation forensic organization.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian Security Service released audio purportedly of pro-Russian rebels which indicates that they were ordered by Moscow to remove the flight recorders from the scene of the crash.

Khodakovsky – Do it really quick. Urgently. Moscow asks where the boxes are… Who is there besides you? Are there Strelkov’s guys?

“Oleksiy” – I don’t know. Just now OSCE people came.

Khodakovsky- So, first of all they are interested in the fate of ‘black boxes.’ They must be under our control. Please, do this task, ok?

“Our friends from high above are very much interested in the fate of the ‘black boxes.’ I mean people from Moscow,” the rebel identified as Khodakovsky later said.

On Sunday, via CNN, Reuters released video footage featuring an unidentified individual at the scene of the crash removing a black box from the wreckage:

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry severely criticized the rebels over their stewardship of the scene of the crash of MH17.

“Drunken separatist soldiers are pulling bodies into trucks unceremoniously,” Kerry said. “We need full access, and this is a moment of truth for Russia.”

“What’s happening is really grotesque and it is contrary to everything that President Putin and Russia said they would do,” the secretary told Meet the Press host David Gregory.

Borodai reportedly claimed that the bodies of those his forces took from emergency workers would remain on a refrigerated train car until investigators with the International Civil Aviation Organization could take custody of them.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I think a strongly worded condemnation is in order.

PBH on July 20, 2014 at 6:40 PM

.
Or perhaps a beautifully drawn Red Line?

oldleprechaun on July 20, 2014 at 9:36 PM

.
Why not both ?
.
Just be sure to include a #hashtag with that “strongly worded condemnation.”

listens2glenn on July 20, 2014 at 9:45 PM

So what is everyone betting? Pilot error or airplane malfunction?

Cindy Munford on July 20, 2014 at 7:31 PM

I found a feather on the ground. It must have been a bird strike.

bofh on July 20, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Maybe a rogue Chinese general hacked into the SAM system to embarrass the Russkies?

slickwillie2001 on July 20, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Putin is done. Acting like an ass will only alienate him further from the world and Russia cannot afford isolation.

Ellis on July 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Ellis on July 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM

You don’t think that since he supplies most of the energy in Europe he’ll get a pass?

Cindy Munford on July 20, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Did the women onboard have access to contraception?

ObAMA is trying to find an angle to fund raise with.

profitsbeard on July 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM

John Kerry can blather on all he wants, but no one is listening to him or Obama anymore. The US simply has no credibility on the world stage any longer.

Techster64 on July 20, 2014 at 11:17 PM

profitsbeard on July 20, 2014 at 10:56 PM

That is sick bro,but funny.

celtic warrior on July 20, 2014 at 11:26 PM

It’s kind of amazing that you actually want the U.S. to be held responsible for these people’s behavior. Why is that?

libfreeordie on July 21, 2014 at 12:41 AM

This calls for a hashtag from the white house.

The Notorious G.O.P on July 21, 2014 at 1:39 AM

People that have had access to relative freedom but desire to live in Communist slavery will never have much respect for human lives (or their remains.)

UnstChem on July 21, 2014 at 1:46 AM

sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 6:46 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 6:56 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 6:57 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 7:04 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 7:36 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 8:32 PM
sharrukin on July 20, 2014 at 9:12 PM

The resident, loathsome Putin apologist demands that you move along, nothing to see here.

V7_Sport on July 21, 2014 at 3:40 AM

It’s looking like it was the Russian lackeys who shot down the jet, but that is no surprise. Give drunk trigger happy a-holes a weapon that can shoot down aircraft up to 60,000 ft and what else does one expect to happen?

What is surprising is that Europe can’t seem to get its collective butt in gear to deal with recovery of the bodies and an investigation into what really happened. As much as I loath Obama, I don’t see where he or the US has much of a role to play in this bizarre theater of the macabre. If Europe can’t find collective strength to deal with this situation, they might as well hand themselves over to Putin now because I would hate to see how they’ll react should a real crisis comes their way.

mpthompson on July 21, 2014 at 4:02 AM

My prayers this morning are with the families of those killed by the Russians on MH17. It is enough of an atrocity to have been shot down out of the sky but to now have the bodies treated this way surely has to be sufficient for charges of crimes against humanity.

Mark my words- Those bodies are going to be destroyed to hide evidence, looted for any valuables, and end up in some mass grave unknown to the families they left behind.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2014 at 7:33 AM

There were reports last week with photos showing the separatists looting the bodies.

Could that be why they are reluctant to release them?

dogsoldier on July 21, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Next thing you know, Putin will tell us that vapors in the gas tank caused the explosion.

Kissmygrits on July 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

IRS…emails,what emails?
Moscow…bodies, what bodies?

jaywemm on July 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Mark my words- Those bodies are going to be destroyed to hide evidence, looted for any valuables, and end up in some mass grave unknown to the families they left behind.

Happy Nomad on July 21, 2014 at 7:33 AM

I really hope you are wrong. I have to admit, you usually are not.

V7_Sport on July 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Comment pages: 1 2