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Investigators Turn Back from MH17 Site

Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)



  • Self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic policemen guard a convoy carrying international forensic experts Monday.
    Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky / AP

Heavy fighting raged Monday around theMalaysia Airlines debris field, once again preventing aninternational police team charged with securing thesite fromeven getting there.

Government troops have stepped up their push towin back territory frompro-Russian separatists infighting that theUnited Nations said Monday has killed more than 1,100 people infour months.

Theinternational delegation ofAustralian andDutch police andforensic experts stopped Monday inShakhtarsk, atown about 30 kilometers fromthe fields where theBoeing 777 was brought down.

Sounds ofregular shelling could be heard fromShakhtarsk andresidents were seen fleeing town incars.

Themandate ofthe police team is tosecure thecurrently rebel-controlled area so that comprehensive investigations can begin andany remaining bodies can be recovered.

Thesecond canceled site visit over two days has strained tempers among theobservation team.

Theres ajob tobe done, said Alexander Hug, thedeputy head ofa monitoring team fromthe Organization forSecurity andCooperation inEurope. We are sick andtired ofbeing interrupted bygunfights, despite thefact that we have agreed that there should be acease-fire.

TheDefense Ministry says Ukrainian troops have entered Shakhtarsk, although checkpoints blocking thewestern entrance intotown remain under rebel control. It also said fighting was taking place inSnizhne, which lies directly south ofthe crash site, andin other towns inthe east.

Theself-declared Donetsk Peoples Republic said onits official Twitter that fighting was ongoing inthe village ofRozsypne, where some ofthe wreckage still lays strewn anduncollected.

Thehead ofthe rebels military headquarters, Igor Ivanov, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that thevillage had fallen intogovernment hands, but that information could not immediately be confirmed.

Ukraine has accused rebels oftampering with evidence atthe plane crash site andtrying tocover up their alleged role inbringing theMalaysia Airlines jet down with ananti-aircraft missile.

Separatist officials have staunchly denied responsibility forshooting down theairliner andkilling all 298 people onboard.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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