MH17 crash: Nato sees evidence 'weapons are still moving from Russia to Ukraine'

UK experts will examine MH17 flight data from the black boxes today

Nato is still seeing evidence of weapons being moved from Russia into Ukraine after the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed last week, a Nato military officer has said.

The first 40 bodies from the 298 passengers killed who were on board the 17 July flight arrived in the Netherlands yesterday for identification and more bodies are expected to arrive today. The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has this morning warned it could take "weeks or even months" before remains of the 43 Malaysians on board are repatriated.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s defence ministry said two of their fighter jets had been shot down close to the crash site in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels, apparently by missiles.

Western leaders have accused Russia of arming the rebels throughout the crisis in Ukraine. The unnamed officer said: "We have noted an increase in the amount of weapons being transferred from Russia to Ukraine in the last several weeks.

“We continue to see evidence of the movement of weapons into Ukraine from Russia since the downing of (Malaysia Airlines flight) MH17, which is a cause for concern.”

The European Union has said Russia must stop the flow of weapons across the border or face tougher sanctions.

The news comes as investigators from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in Hampshire tasked with analysing the plane’s black boxes confirmed they had successfully downloaded “valid data” from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) which will be "further analysed".

Read more:  Black boxes arrive in the UK from Ukraine for analysis
Dutch mayor says Putin's daughter should be deported
Separatists tampered with evidence, intelligence suggests

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB), which is leading the investigation, said the CVR was damaged but the memory module intact, while "no evidence or indications of manipulation" was found after it was handed over by rebels earlier this week. The CVR records conversations and ambient sounds in the cockpit of a flight.

An examination of the flight data recorder (FDR) will begin today.

The DSB said: "This will show whether this recorder also contains relevant information, in which case the data from both recorders will be combined."

READ MORE: WHAT ARE THE 'BLACK BOXES' AND WHAT COULD THEY REVEAL?

Last night, Alexander Borodai, the self-styled prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), told the BBC his forces did not have the missile intelligence sources believe shot down the plane, insisting that any evidence showing otherwise is a “fake”.

"No, we didn't get a Buk. There were no BUKs in the area" he insisted.

Video: PM 'appears to have adopted a stronger policy'

Any photographs purporting to show a SA-11 BUK missile launcher, the type some believe brought down the passenger jet, were “photoshopped”, he added.

Borodai also claimed the US President Barack Obama was "feeding off the Ukrainian propaganda machine" and blamed the OSCE monitors for the bodies being left in fields for three days, who he said told him: “I represent 57 countries. Don’t you dare touch the bodies of the dead."

On the same night, separatist commander Alexander Khodakovsky appeared to contradict Borodai, telling Reuters the rebels could have received a BUK missile system from Russia.

Alexander Borodai Alexander Borodai He said: "That Buk I know about. I heard about it. I think they sent it back. Because I found out about it at exactly the moment that I found out that this tragedy had taken place. They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence.”

However, he later appeared to retract his comments, telling Russian news agency Life News that he had simply been discussing "possible versions" with Reuters. He insisted rebels "do not have and have never had" a BUK.  

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin