Investigators struggle to reach MH17 crash site as Ukraine fighting intensifies

MH17 crash site
Reuters/Scanpix

For the second day running, fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces has kept them away.

Deputy head for the OSCE monitoring mission in ukraine, Alexander Hug, say: “We were stopped because there was gunfire and what we understand was artillery impacts nearby, very near.”

Residents too, face roadblocks as the fighting continues.

Ukraine says its troops have recaptured more territory from pro-Russian rebels near the site, although at least three civilians are reported to have been killed in the process.

“It was horrible, we were hiding in cellars, children were crying, they were scared, there was no electricity, nothing, it was a nightmare,” says Olga, a resident of Shakhtarsk.

It’s a nightmare too for investigators and families of the those killed in the crash. The site has yet to be secured or thoroughly investigated. And the international community is ramping up the pressure for access.

Western leaders say rebels almost certainly shot the airliner down by mistake with a Russian-supplied surface-to-air missile, but until they can get to the crash site, there’s little they can do to establish the facts.

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