At a press conference in Kiev, the Ukrainian government announced that it had definitive proof that Russia shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 with surface-to-air missiles. From the Times:
At a news conference in Kiev, Vitaly Nayda, the head of counterintelligence for the Ukrainian State Security Service, displayed photographs that he said showed three of the Buk-M1 missile systems on the road to the Russian border. Two of the devices, which are missile launchers mounted on an armored vehicle, crossed the border into Russia at about 2 a.m. Friday, or less than 10 hours after the jet, Flight 17, was blown apart in midair, he said. The third weapon crossed at about 4 a.m.
The investigation into the crash seems to be increasingly hindered by the presence of pro-Russian separatists who have reportedly been moving pieces of evidence around, including bodies, pilfering the belongings of the departed, and obstructing the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Malaysia Airlines released the manifest with the names and nationalities of all the passengers on board.
83-year-old Sri Siti Amirah, the step-grandmother of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was reportedly aboard Malaysia Airline Flight 17 when it not-so-mysteriously crashed in eastern Ukraine. According to the Telegraph, this was confirmed by Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, who is the prime minister's cousin and also the step-grandson of Siti Amirah:
The defence minister's tweet confirmed an earlier report in the Star newspaper that said Siti Amirah had embarked alone in Amsterdam on board flight MH17 en route to the Indonesian city of Jogjakarta.
Amirah was reportedly on her way home from Amsterdam to celebrate the end of Ramadan when the plane was seemingly brought down.
Details about the crash continue to trickle in on Saturday as Ukrainian officials continue to accuse pro-Russian separatists of tampering with evidence related to crash site. From the Associated Press:
The government in Kiev said militiamen have removed 38 bodies from the crash site in eastern Ukraine and have taken them to the rebel-held city of Donetsk. It says the bodies were transported with the assistance of specialists with distinct Russian accents.
The rebels are also "seeking large transports to carry away plane fragments to Russia," the Ukrainian government said in a statement."
Meanwhile, Aleksandr Borodai, the leader of the rebel separatists in Donetsk, has reportedly asked Russia for assistance with the crash site charging that Ukraine is preventing experts from arriving to the scene and that the passengers' bodies are being left in the heat. Borodai added that the black box of the flight has yet to be found.
On Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for an independent investigation into the crash. Abbott also joined the international chorus that has raised suspicions about Russia's involvement in the incident.
This is a problem — a very serious problem. Australia takes a very dim view of countries which facilitate the killing of Australians. The idea that Russia can wash its hands of responsibility because this happened in Ukrainian airspace just does not stand up to serious scrutiny. We all know what's happening in the Ukraine."
As many as 28 Australians were believed to have been on MH 17.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.