After days of delay, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, along with investigators from Australia and the Netherlands, have finally been able to reach the crash site of Malaysia Air Flight 17. Their arrival comes a complete two weeks after the plane went down.
The teams have been delayed, because of the fighting in the area around the site. Yesterday, pro Russian separatists reportedly laid mines around the area of the crash, further preventing investigation efforts.
After the rescuers arrived today, new explosions were allegedly heard near the crash site. One reporter in the area reported a "powerful" blast, and noted smoke about six miles from the MH17 site.
OSCE SMM monitors reach #MH17 crash site for 1st time in almost week, accompanied by 4 Dutch, Australian experts. Used new route to access— СММ ОБСЄ в Україні (@OSCE_SMM) July 31, 2014
The pro-Russian separatists maintain their innocence, claiming it is Ukraine, rather than the rebels, who have sparked the renewed fighting in this area. Sergey Kavtaradze, an aide to rebel leader Aleksandr Boroday said, "Ukraine continued to violate the ceasefire in the MH17 crash area, not allowing OSCE observers and experts from the Netherlands and Australia to enter the area."
The Ukrainian government has denied any such involvement and even announced a one-day ceasefire, although that does not appear to have taken hold. Instead, troops are currently focusing on cutting off supply lines to the rebels. They believe this will encourage them to move away from Donetsk and the MH17 crash site.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.