A Malaysian team of 133 officials and experts arrived in Kiev on Saturday morning to investigate the MH 17 crash site but they have been unable to get to the area to recover victims' remains and retrieve the aircraft's black boxes, the Malaysian government said in a statement released today.
According to the statement, armed rebels have prevented the Malaysian recovery and investigation team from getting to the wreckage of MH 17. The Ukrainian government says it is unable to guarantee the safety of international investigators in and around the site.
"Malaysia is very concerned that the sanctity of the crash site has been severely compromised," the statement read.
Bodies Recovered From Debris Field Kept in Refrigerated TrainsRebels in Eastern Ukraine today moved the bodies of 196 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 into refrigerated trains that will stay in the rebel-held town of Torez, nine miles away from the debris field, until the arrival of an international aviation delegation, rebel leader Alexander Borodai told ABC News. A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian government told The Associated Press that armed rebels forced emergency workers to give them all 196 recovered bodies without disclosing where the bodies would be going. Armed rebels are limiting the access of rescue workers to the debris field, only allowing them to work for up to 75 minutes at a time, said Col. Andriy Lyenskol, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council. The Ukrainian government has prepared a separate crisis center in the government-held city of Kharkiv but has not received the bodies from Borodai's rebel forces, reports the Associated Press.
Kerry Calls for Russia to "Be Part of the Solution, Not Part of the Problem"
Evidence suggests that Russia had previously provided support to the rebels accused of shooting down flight MH 17, Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning.
"There are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia's support for and involvement in this effort," Kerry said. "Drunken separatists are stacking bodies into the backs of trucks, removing materials from the site ... This is an insult to everybody. It's really a moment of truth for Russia to step up and be part of the solution, not part of the problem."
Kerry's comments come as the United States Embassy in Kiev issued a statement detailing how Russia aided the rebels.
"Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine," read the statement. "We also have information indicating that Russia is providing training to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia, and this effort included training on air defense systems."
The embassy added that the surface-to-air missile that downed MH 17, a SA-11, was likely fired by rebels as there were no Ukrainian missile systems in the range of the debris field at the time of the strike.
The embassy also said that Ukraine has not fired any surface-to-air missiles in the conflict with separatists.