Ukraine Violence Again Spikes as Accusations Fly over Flight MH17

Violence in eastern Ukraine is again flaring on Monday as an international team of investigators and forensic experts were examining the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 that crashed last week after it was apparently shot down by anti-aircraft fire in the contested region.

A train carrying the remains of many of the disaster’s victims reportedly left a local station, headed for the city of Kharkiv. According to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday, the remains aboard the train will given over to Dutch authorities and other investigators. 193 of the total 298 victims on board Flight 17 were from the Netherlands.

According to the Guardian‘s live blog on the ongoing situation:

“Train with the bodies of those who were lost in MH-17 plane crash started its movement from the area of the disaster,” Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko confirmed in a statement, saying the train would be under constant guard as it moved through Donetsk towards Kharkiv.

As high-level accusations fly over who exactly downed the commercial aircraft, the international political tensions continue to grow as new violence between the Ukraine army and separatists on the ground.

U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned Ukrainian separatists who maintain control over the crash site and accused them of hampering attempts to investigate the scene.

“What exactly are they trying to hide?” Obama asked.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday indicated that Russia should be held responsible for the catastrophe, though others challenged his case based on circumstantial evidence and innuendo.

Independent journalist Robert Parry cautioned against the coverage provided by many U.S.-based and other western media outlets. What too many Americans are seeing, Parry wrote on Sunday, ” is the major U.S. news outlets, led by the Washington Post and the New York Times, publishing the most inflammatory of articles based largely on unreliable Ukrainian officials and on the U.S. State Department which was a principal instigator of the Ukraine crisis.”

Fighting on Monday was again underway in the city of Donetsk, approximately 40 kilometers from the crash site, as the Ukrainian military resumed its campaign against militarized factions who control the city and have rejected the authority of the Kiev government and declared autonomy.

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