By Graham Phillips
On December 26th, I returned to the scene of the MH17 tragedy, by the village of Grabovo, in Donbass, near the towns of Shaktersk and Torez. Photos used to illustrate this article from open album here, and this article is also submitted to the official MH17 investigation.
1 – As in October, there were no issues accessing the site, and it was peaceful throughout the few hours I spent there, with my colleague Andrey Guselnikov.
2 – There was a new sign up by the first main site as you approach Grabove. (see below). It warned that you ‘should not enter the site as there may be remains of victims from the crash‘, and gave a telephone number.
3 – While the main pieces of fuselage had been removed, there were still a high number of smaller items from the plane on site i.e. oxygen masks, canisters, numerous larger ones – including entire chairs, and some personal effects strewn.
5. We walked the route shown below in red, taking over an hour to do so due to filming and photographing. Here, at the area with the largest concentration of wreckage, we encountered 3 men, given official duty by the Donetsk People’s Republic, to remove what remained of the plane from the site, putting it in a car trailer. Their names were Ibrahim, Vladimir and Andrei.
6. They were carrying out their duty in a workmanlike, organised manner. Ibrahim stated, in video below at 6:08 ‘the experts have done what they wanted here already, now we have been told to collect the remains‘.
7. Ibrahim and his colleagues, witnesses to the crash at the time, believed it was shot down by a Ukrainian pilot, who had at that time recently, confessed – Vladislav Voloshin – read more of that here.
(Letter of permission here to left)
9. 2 of the men expressed the sentiment that they had witnessed the crash, but spoken about it so many times they were ‘tired of telling it’. Notable that none of their statements apparently appeared in western media.
10. Yet asked politely, the men were open to giving their recollections of events, and more offered to show us around the site itself. To be continued in part 2.