MH17 crash site
© Airbus DS/AllSource Analysis
A satellite image shows the primary crash site (left), of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 located near Hrabove, eastern Ukraine.
The first aerial pictures of the MH17 crash site have emerged, laying bare the breathtaking scale of the disaster that claimed the lives of 298 innocents.

The stills, taken from the skies over the village of Grabovo in eastern Ukraine, show the scorched earth at the point of impact and gives an idea of how much more severe the devastation could have been had it come down in the nearby family homes.

Grabovo is controlled by pro-Russian rebels, widely suspected of shooting the plane out of the sky on Thursday afternoon. The pictures emerged as the train carrying the bodies of all of the victims of Flight MH17 finally set off after four days in situ.

MH17 crash site
© Airbus DS/AllSource Analysis
This image shows just how close the crash site was to civilian homes in the twon of Grabove, Ukraine
It comes amid uproar over the treatment of the corpses, which have lain in the baking summer heat since Thursday.


Comment: The reason they were laying in situ for four days? Because the OSCE requested they be left in situ until the international investigative team arrived, and because said team took four days to get there, thanks in part to Kiev stalling!


Finally, after repeated calls from leaders to speed up the chaotic clean-up operation, officials at the site in eastern Ukraine have agreed to hand over the bodies to the Dutch at 7pm today.

The train pulled away from a station in Torez, nine miles from the rebel-held field where the Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a missile.

Today President Barack Obama rebuked Russian President Vladmir Putin today for not using his influence to stop Russian backed separatists in Ukraine from 'tampering' with evidence at the site of the MH17 crash.


Comment: A loaded question/demand, the diplomatic equivalent of asking Putin when he stopped beating his wife. Incidentally, also a symptom of pathocracy, according to Andrew Lobaczewski.


crash map
Speaking from South Lawn of the White House, the U.S. president said it's Putin's 'responsibility' to compel the rebels to cease removing bodies from the area and allow investigators to have 'immediate and full access' to the site so they can conduct a thorough investigation.

'That's the least that we can do. That's the least that dignity demands,' he said.

'All of this goes to say, "what have they got to hide?" Obama asked at one point in his remarks. 'This is an insult to those who have lost loved ones.'

Reports claim it is heading for the rebel-held town of Ilovaysk, 50 miles west of Torez. The United Nations Security Council will later today vote on a resolution tabled by the UK and Australia demanding 'safe, full and unfettered access' to the crash site for international investigators and for the bodies of victims - many of which are currently being held in refrigerated train carriages - to be handled with respect and dignity.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond will tomorrow meet EU counterparts in Brussels at a meeting in which the UK hopes that extended sanctions on specific Russian businesses, organisations and individuals, agreed last week and due to come into force by the end of the month, will be brought forward for immediate implementation.

Mr Hammond and other EU foreign ministers will have an opportunity to talk to representatives of the Malaysian Government at a meeting with the Asean economic bloc in Brussels on Wednesday.

The UK also wants discussion tomorrow on potential 'Tier 3' sanctions on wider sectors of the Russian economy, which could cover areas such as financial services, trade and defence co-operation and energy exports.

French arms sales and German dependence on Russian fossil fuels have been seen as possible barriers to tougher measures, but Britain will argue that the whole union must share the burden.

Mr Cameron told MPs that, as well as speaking by phone with Mr Putin, he had discussed the MH17 tragedy in the last few days with German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and the leaders of the Netherlands, Malaysia, Poland and Australia.

He said that for too long there had been 'reluctance' on the part of some European nations to face up to the implications of the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

And he said: 'It is time to make our power, influence and resources felt. If Russia does not change course then we must be clear Europe must keep increasing the pressure: Russia cannot expect to continue enjoying access to European markets, European capital, European knowledge and technical expertise while she fuels conflict in one of Europe's neighbours.


Comment: Delete the bolded part above and you'll get to the truth: "Russia cannot expect to continue enjoying access to European markets, European capital, European knowledge and technical expertise." Plain and simple. "Fueling conflict," which Russia is not doing, has nothing to do with it.


'We must do what is necessary to stand up to Russia and put an end to the conflict in Ukraine before any more innocent lives are lost.'


Comment: No, the world must stand up to the U.S. and put an end to the conflict.


Mr Cameron said: 'President Putin faces a clear choice in how he decides to respond to this appalling tragedy. I hope he will use this moment to find a path out of this festering and dangerous crisis by ending Russia's support for the separatists.

'If he does not change his approach to Ukraine in this then Europe and the West must fundamentally change our approach to Russia.

'Those of us in Europe should not need to be reminded of the consequences of turning a blind eye when big countries bully smaller countries.

'We should not shrink from standing up for the principles that govern conduct between independent nations in Europe and which ultimately keep the peace on our continent.'

Mr Cameron was this afternoon chairing a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the Malaysia Airlines crash, as well as the latest situation in Gaza.

Chancellor George Osborne said the UK was prepared to take an 'economic hit' in order to put pressure on Moscow over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

'This is about living in a world where international borders are respected, where commercial airliners are not shot down,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

'It is absolutely in Britain's national economic interest that that is the case. Of course any sanctions will have an economic impact, and we are prepared to undertake further sanctions.