Rebels Made 'Very Invasive' Alterations to MH17 Wreckage

Today in MH17 updates, rebels alter the plane debris, Ukraine claims Russian officials personally pushed the missile deployment button, and victims finally make their way home to the Netherlands. 

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Ukraine's director of informational security, Vitaly Nayda, has said he is certain that a "Russian officer personally pushed the button to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17." Not surprisingly, Kremlin continues to deny any involvement, even as evidence piles up. 
While tensions between Russia and the rest of the world mount over the investigation of the MH17 flight, yesterday some progress was made. The bodies have started to be transported to government-controlled areas Dutch investigators are working to transfer the bodies to coffins in Kharkiv, then get them onto a military plane home.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said he hopes the first plane carrying bodies will arrive on Wednesday. An Australian plane will also arrive in Ukraine to take bodies from the processing facility to Holland. 
Thus far, 282 bodies are waiting to be processed and 16 people remain missing. This is an improvement as well, as for sometime, as many as 38 bodies were missing. These 38 had been taken to a Donetsk morgue by the separatists. Speculation arose that these 38 bodies had particular missile fragments or shrapnel damage, which is why the separatists wanted to process them first and in a different facility. The Ukrainian government has also said 87 "body fragments" have been found, however, testing must be done to link them back to the victims.

While Malaysia was finally able to recover the black boxes from the rebels at the crash site, investigators at the site have determined other evidence has been "significantly altered." Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has said large pieces of the front of the plane have been cut away. Investigators have seen power tools on the site, used to cut into the fuselage. Rebels said their reasoning was to move the large plane pieces in order to retrieve bodies. However, OSCE said the cuts made were "very invasive." 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.