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Ukraine rebels destroying all links to MH17 air atrocity — report

July 20: The only New Zealand citizen on flight MH17 has been named. She was Mary Menke (65). Ms Menke lives in Australia. She and her Dutch-born husband Gerry were flying home after celebrating his 70th birthday with family and friends in the south of France.

Earlier, NZ resident Robert Ayley, father of two sons under five, was named as one of the 298 fatalies. Mr Ayley, originally from the UK but living in Otaki, was reportedly tavelling on a UK passport.

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July 19: Pro-Russia separatist groups in eastern Ukraine are hastily covering up all links to the Buk missile battery suspected to have been used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane, according to western-based defence and intelligence specialists, The Guardian reports.

As the UN security council called for a "full, thorough independent international investigation" into the downing of the plane, concern that a cover-up was under way was fuelled by a standoff at part of the crash site between observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and rebel gunmen, which ended with a warning shot being fired, The Guardian says.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power has called for the crash site to be preserved. "All evidence must be undisturbed," she said. "Russia needs to help make this happen."

A preserved crash site is needed to help establish if a Russian-built, vehicle-mounted Buk missile system to bring down MH17, killing all 298 passengers and crew. But observers say chances of cooperation are low.

There is also confusion over the black boxes and other devices that might or might nt have been salvaged from the plane. A rebel military commander initially said he was considering what to do with them, while another rebel leader, Aleksandr Borodai, contradicting his colleague, said the rebels had no black boxes or any other devices.

Meanwhile, one of two New Zealand passenges on MH17 has been named. 

He was Otaki man Robert Ayley, father of two sons under five. Mr Ayley, originally from the UK, was reportedly tavelling on a UK passport.

The second New Zealander was a woman living in Australia with her Dutch husband. She has yet to be named.

Comments and questions
19

The Western media should stop using the word "militants" and "rebel gunmen".

These are terrorists who deal in death to bully, oppress and get their own way. Contemptible thugs.

That's what the media used to describe the ANC and NAACP?

Looks like you are as confused as me with all this media spin as to which side are the terrorists, especially as this present civil war has the USA and EU backing the side who overthrew a democratically elected President.

yes, blame America. Because they shot down this airplan.

twit.

But didn't the US Navy down a civilian airliner over the Gulf some years ago? By accident. And that was by highly trained (?) operators, not a medley group of separatists with a barely-understood weapon system.

they did, in the 1980s.

That was wrong.

and this is wrong.

And don't ask what really happened to TWA over Long Island

What puzzles me is why MH17 was chosen as a target. If the other planes flying over that same area were not targeted, was that because they had their squawk broadcast switched on?

US, Russian and European weapons are killing people every day in Palestine, Syria and the Ukraine.

All of this killing is therefore state sponsored.

Until selling weapons is an illegal activity none of these world leaders have an ounce of credibility or sincerity.

The separatists in Eastern Ukraine who want independence thought it was a Ukrainian transport plane. They would not shoot down an international flight on purpose as it would be counterproductive to their cause. So they join the US and other countries who have shot down civilian planes by accident:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/16/the-forgotten-story-of-iran-air-flight-655/

Besides that, they are fighting for an independent state in an area of Ukraine that wants to separate from Ukraine. And the Ukrainian military has killed hundred of their people in recent months trying to take back control. Its basically a civil war and calling one side terrorist is just taking sides.

How many more Kiwis need to be murdered by terrorists before the New Zealand government retaliates?

Yes, let's send in our Air Force.

Why didn't the airline advisers know the range of the weaponry being used? Hadn't that particular missile launcher been used before?

Why didn't the airline advisers know the range of the weaponry being used? Hadn't that particular missile launcher been used before?

#7: how do you suggest the NZ government should retaliate? Leaftet drops? shouting into a TV news camera perhaps? hauling in the non-existent Ambassador who might speak for a violent rabble?

Please let us know what your ideas include - waiting

The little village leader John Key in full election mode is now top story about how he is going to have words with Putin or something to that effect. I guess that means he will unfriend him, provided they share facebook.
I guarantee Key doesn't even have Putins phone number.

You clearly missed the sarcasm in the post...

No....merely adding to it.

I suppose dropping in a 1000 NATO paratroopers to protect the scene is not on.