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Black Box 'Stolen' By Russia, Ukraine Expert Tells LBC

Friday 18th July 2014

Intelligence officials are trying to establish exactly what happened after a Malaysian Airlines plane was allegedly shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.


Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was heading from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at an altitude of 33,000ft when contact was lost yesterday afternoon.

Andy Hunder is from the Ukraininan Institute in Kiev and told LBC how the locals are dealing with the incident.

Ukrainian Media

The local media is really focussing on ascertaining the facts and the truth in what happened.

Ukrainians have been under attack for a number of months already and their tears have been for their own dead and now the tears are for the dead of the international community after what looks like a rocket brought down the plane.

In the media, there is a focus on the calls that have been intercepted by the security services, which actually show that the rebels were reporting back to their commanders in Moscow, highlighting that they had brought down this plane.

Initially, they were quite triumphant, they thought that it was a Ukrainian military plane. Only after half an hour, they realised they brought down a civilian plane with so many fatalities.

The focus here is those calls which show the orders were coming from Moscow and the rebels on the ground brought it down with a Russian surface-to-air missile.

Where Is The Black Box?

The second black box has been located, Reuters have confirmed that.

The issue is now that there is a major risk that it will leave Ukrainian territory and be taken to Moscow. That contravenes international law.

As the plane come down over Ukrainian territory, international law says the black box should remain in Ukraine. 

So they are physically being stolen out of the country and taken to Moscow and once they are in Moscow, there is no guarantee they will not be tampered with in any way.

That hinders any objective investigation into the affair as if there is any evidence in those black boxes, they will be in the hands of the Russians.

There is a risk that we may never find out the whole truth about that happened.

Ukraine v Russia: The Background

The heart of the dispute is that Ukraine has decided to move towards a system based on European values. 

Russia does not want to let Ukraine go. It wants to keep Ukraine under its sphere of influence and Ukrainians have chosen a life for themselves and for their children based on human dignity, freedom of speech and the rule of law.

Russia does not want to allow that and President Putin has been using every single possible means to stop that.