Armed pro-Russian separatists run during clashes between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian rebels that left at least three people dead in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk yesterday. Photo: AFP
Dutch forensic experts yesterday began examining bodies from the MH17 plane disaster that have been held up at an east Ukraine train station as Kiev and insurgents wrangle over the fate of the remains.
As world leaders deplored the "shambolic" state of the crash site left in the hands of the rebels, the animosity between the two sides was underlined by intense shelling which erupted again in rebel stronghold Donetsk, a city just 60 kilometres from the station.
Three people were killed and terrified civilians fled, as Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko quickly ordered his troops to hold fire within a 40-kilometre radius around the crash site, where forensic experts were heading.
Kiev said the remains of the 298 victims killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight was apparently shot by a surface-to-air missile Thursday should be transferred to the Netherlands.
Ukraine accused rebels of refusing to release the grisly cargo, while the insurgents said Kiev could not be trusted and that they would only give control over the remains to international experts.
The UN Security Council is expected to adopt an Australia-backed resolution demanding pro-Russian separatists grant unrestricted access to the crash site to international experts when it meets at 1900 GMT yesterday.
Moscow has borne the brunt of international fury, as the United States accused Russia of supplying the missile system used to shoot down the aircraft.
President Vladimir Putin, who has also come under fire for failing to use his influence to get the pro-Russian rebels to give investigators full access to the crash site, sought Sunday to temper the outrage, saying Russia would do "everything in its power" to resolve the Ukrainian conflict.