Ukraine says suspends attacks to let experts reach crash site, rebels deny

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:03pm EDT

1 of 4. Ukrainian tanks move along a road near Eastern Ukrainian village of Novoselivka Persha July 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Thursday it had suspended offensive operations in its military campaign in east Ukraine to help international experts reach the downed Malaysian airliner's crash site but separatists were continuing to attack its positions.

Kiev said on the Facebook website of what it calls its "anti-terrorist operation" (ATO) against pro-Russian rebels in the east that it was heeding calls by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stop fighting near the plane crash site.

"On July 31, troops involved in the active ATO phase are not conducting military operations apart from protecting their own positions from attack," it said. "But mercenary fighters of the Russian terrorists are not respecting any international agreements and requests."

The rebels have accused Kiev of blocking access to the Malaysian MH17 flight crash site by fighting in the area.

"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," said Sergei Kavtaradze, an aide to top rebel leader Aleksander Borodai.

"We hope Ukrainians will adhere to the decisions of the U.N., allow observers and experts to reach the crash site and facilitate security of the place," he said.

(Reporting by Timothy Heritage in Kiev and Aleksandar Vasovic in Donetsk; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Comments (10)

The reports from Human Rights groups gives some details to the “patriots” operating in eastern Ukraine. Grabbing people from churches really indicates who the separatists really are.

Jul 31, 2014 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Motovilov wrote:
No matter, who was hit the Boeing, in error, but it is important, who directed civilian aircraft in a combat zone, consciously.
Issue today version, so far, is questionable.
Version defeat “Buk”- anti-aircraft missile complex is questionable. The airliner was flown by a quarter of the way and was almost completely filled with kerosene. At hit of a powerful projectile “Buk” in the plane that was supposed to explode and become yellow cloud. As it was in 2001, when debris from the downed by a Ukrainian TU-154 of airline Siberia was dispersed at a distance of 12 nautical miles, and of the 74 passengers and crew members found only fragments 14 people.
The version of the defeat of the Ukrainian SU-25, is also doubtful. The SU-25 has a weak shell and low altitude.
Then there was a third option. The radar detected the plane near the Boeing at the moment of the explosion, but what kind of plane it is not clear, maybe it was a NATO aircraft with more powerful armament and more height of flight than the SU-25.
Instead declare a ceasefire during the investigation of the crash of the Ukrainian army with greater intensity trying to take the place of the accident.
The Americans refused to provide data from satellites, flying over the scene of the accident in the time of the accident.
Experts pretend that militiamen don’t allow them in place of the accident, although all who wanted, including relatives of the victims, journalists, observers of the OSCE, visited and nobody suffered.
The impression that the Ukrainians and their owners from Washington have something to hide.

Jul 31, 2014 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MonitorLizard wrote:
How can Kiev and the pro-Russian militants each be so stupid. Get the H….out of the crash site. Perhaps you both could spend time on Facebook.

Jul 31, 2014 10:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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