Human remains still at MH17 crash site, Australia to send more troops

More that a week after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 came down in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, human remains are still at the crash site, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Saturday. Australia is sending 190 Federal Police and some Australian Defence Force personnel to participate in a planned Dutch-led operation to secure the crash site. Australia is still working for an agreement with Ukraine to allow an international police force into the country to help secure the crash site, although officials have been allowed to visit the crash site on two occasions.

We have many personnel on the ground already in Ukraine, they are working very hard in support of Operation Bring Them Home.

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott

Abbott said every day the crash site remained unsecured, there was more risk of interference and that bodies would deteriorate due to their exposure to the elements. Questioned on concerns about sending troops into the volatile situation in Ukraine, Abbott stressed that Australia’s involvement in the planned mission was only to secure the remains and help the investigation.

It is, I stress, a humanitarian mission. Others can get involved if they wish in the politics of eastern Europe, our sole concern is to claim our dead and to bring them home.

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott