Investigators Get Access to MH17 Crash Site

Ukraine parliament approves 950 armed troops to secure site

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 31, 2014 7:46 AM CDT | Updated Jul 31, 2014 7:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – International investigators were finally able to access the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash site today after a week of frustrated attempts. Ukraine halted its military campaign in the Donetsk region, though Kiev says pro-Russian separatists are not respecting requests by the UN to cease fighting near the crash site, Reuters reports. The AP reports that rebels still appear to control the site, which will be secured by 950 armed, international troops whose deployment was approved by Ukraine’s parliament today, according to AFP.

The bevy of officials now at the site includes observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and four Australian and Dutch police experts; 68 Malaysian police officers are also in Kiev to assist with the investigation, the BBC reports. Russian aviation experts intend to visit and investigate debris at the site as well, alongside international investigators. They will “hand over all the materials” requested by the head of the investigation, according to a statement.

People walk across an exploded bridge near the village of Debaltseve, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
People walk across an exploded bridge near the village of Debaltseve, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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