The MH17 airplane crash


After being brought to Kharkiv, the remains of the victims of MH17 will be brought in refrigerated railcars to the Malyshev Plant, a renowned tank manufacturing facility, where premises are being prepared for the bodies to be examined, registered and laid out in coffins. The premises have also been organized for the work and for the preparation of official documents by forensic specialists, customs and border control officials. After which bodies will be taken in refrigerated vehicles to Kharkiv International Airport and shipped to the Netherlands, Andriy Lysenko, spokesperson for the National Security Council’s News & Analysis Center, reported at the Center’s evening briefing, July 22, 2014.


According to Lysenko, a combined team of 150 men from the State Emergency Services in Kharkiv Oblast will unload and reload the bodies of the dead. The documentary procedures for the flight out of Kharkiv International Airport with the victims’ remains have already been carried out. At the moment, the issue of the treatment and care of the bodies of the victims using specialized monitoring equipment (Introscopes) is being resolved with the requirements of the Dutch Government.


Today, President Petro Poroshenko discussed the issue of investigating the terrorist act against the MH17 passenger flight as well as the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts with Finnish PM Alexander Stubb.


Ukraine’s President thanked Finland’s Prime Minister for his particular concern as the tragedy with the Malaysian Airlines flight was not just a Ukrainian matter but a global security issue. He also reported that despite the resistance of the terrorists, Ukrainian specialists did finally manage to remove the bodies of the victims from the site of the crash, which would further be transported to the Netherlands for final identification and other mandatory procedures.


At the same time, Poroshenko noted that, despite the tragedy and clear understanding that it was caused by the actions of the terrorists, the flow of arms and mercenaries through the Russian border had not stopped. The President of Ukraine pointed out that further efforts needed to be directed at stopping the support for the terrorists from the Russian side and expressed the hope that the international community would help in this.


Military action in the conflict zone


Today, an offensive operation by the Ukrainian military succeeded in liberating Severodonetsk in Luhansk Oblast from the terrorists. The Ukrainian flag is once again flying above the city. During the operation, Ukraine’s forces released 4 hostages who were being held captive just outside the city. In one building, the soldiers discovered the bodies of 2 civilians who apparently had been shot by the terrorists as they fled the city. At the moment, ATO forces in Severodonetsk are actively sweeping buildings and roadways for mines.


The battle for Lysychansk continues. In order to avoid being completely surrounded, the militant gangs are fighting fiercely and with many casualties to leave the city as quickly as they can.


The border area


Ukrainian units in the border area continue to receive fire. Today, gunfire came from tanks and APCs not far from Dmytrivka and Marynivka. The enemy’s attack was rebuffed.


Russia continues to draw its troops to the border regions. Today, near the town of Petrivka in Luhansk Oblast, some 200 m from the border with the Russian Federation, 2 Russian APCs and some 40 Russian soldiers were seen. Along the Vovchansk section of the border, border patrols saw a Grad launcher in mobile readiness at a distance of 200 m from the border with Ukraine.


Population centers in the conflict zone


Earlier today, we reported that as they retreated from Severodonetsk, the terrorists were mining the bridges outside the city. The bridge between Severodonetsk and Rubizhne was actually blown up.


On July 21, terrorists abducted 9 students in Luhansk, all of them citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Russian mercenaries are holding the foreigners in the SBU building that they had seized earlier. The parents of the hostages plan to appeal to the Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine to resolve the matter of gaining their release.


Population centers freed of terrorists


In Ukrainian towns freed of terrorists, communications systems are beginning to work again. Not long ago, telephone connections and internet access were restored in 13 population centers: Kramatorsk, Krasnoarmiysk, Mariyinka, Sloviansk, Selidove, Dobropillia, Dmytrove, Sviatohorsk, Krasniy Lyman, Velyka Novosilka, Oleksandrivka, Noviy Svit, and Druzhkivka. Intercity and international telephone links were also restored in Oleksandrivka and in the county seats of Horlivka and Dobropillia.


Last night, SBU operatives detained a group of 5 saboteurs who were preparing a terrorist act in Odesa Oblast. Their arsenal included home-made explosive devices that the Russian mercenaries planned to use in densely populated areas. It was established that they had already blown up a number of branch banks in Odesa and had plans to blow up the building where the military recruits soldiers.


Translated by EMPR for IAC NSDC