MH17: Rebels will 'guarantee safety' of crash site monitors if Kiev agrees truce
July 21, 2014 00:00
DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - Ukraine's pro-Russian rebels defied mounting world outrage on Sunday and said they would allow international monitors to safely access the site of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 only if Kiev agreed to a truce.
The tough terms were set as global anger rose at an increasingly isolated Russia over its perceived failure to pressure the insurgents into opening passage to where the remains of 298 victims whose lives were cut short on Thursday lay scattered in stifling heat along wheat and sunflower fields.
Insurgents who have been in control of Ukraine’s eastern rustbelt since early April had allowed only limited freedom of manoeuver to a 30-member team of monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) who have been trying to assure respectful treatment of the remains since Friday.
Ukraine accuses Russia of helping the gun-toting militias of hiding and destroying vital evidence that could prove their alleged involvement in the downing of the Malaysia Airline Boeing 777 on Thursday afternoon.