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Military mission to secure MH17 crash site ruled out

A military mission to secure the MH17 crash site has been ruled out by the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia, according to the Dutch Prime Minister.

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Some 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Mark Rutte said: "We concluded there was a real risk that an international mission would immediately be involved in the conflict in Ukraine."

He added that that it was "not realistic" to attain military dominance over heavily armed separatists in an area so near the Russian border.

A team of international experts were due to visit the scene where 298 people died but abandoned their plans for security reasons.

Read: Clegg calls for Russia to be stripped of World Cup after MH17 disaster

Ukraine blames rebels for 'fake' fighting claims

Ukraine's foreign minister has denied the country's army was engaged in fighting near the MH17 crash site after Dutch experts cancelled a visit due to reports of hostilities.

Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that rebels had prevented the international team from reaching the site where the passenger plane crashed in eastern Ukraine.

Terrorists back to their normal outrageous practice: they don't allow OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitors to access the #MH17 site claiming Ukraine army is fighting nearby.

Their argument is fake. Ukraine is committed to its unilateral ceasefire within a 40 km zone.

– Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

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Ukraine fighting 'will most likely affect MH17 crash site'

Fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops will "most likely affect the MH17 crash site," the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said.

A team of international experts were due to visit the scene where 298 people died today but abandoned their plans for security reasons.

Deputy head of the OSCE mission in Ukraine Alexander Hug said: "We heard indications there's fighting going on.The situation on the ground appears to be unsafe ... we therefore decided to deploy tomorrow morning."

MH17: First victim is formally identified

Forensic experts have formally identified the first of 298 MH17 victims, AFP reported.

A woman whose daughter who is thought to have died on flight MH17 weeps at the site of the disaster.
A woman whose daughter who is thought to have died on flight MH17 weeps at the site of the disaster. Credit: Reuters

A statement from the Dutch Government said: “The first victim of the flight MH17 disaster was identified.

"It's a Dutch citizen and the victim's family and mayor of where they lived have been informed.”

A team of 200 specialists are involved in the identification process but it could take months for it to be completed.

The Dutch are in charge of identifying all the victims from the July 17 disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, 194 of whom were Dutch nationals.

So far 227 coffins with the remains of people from 17 countries have been flown back.

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MH17 victim's brother describes family's pain

The brother of a British man killed in the MH17 disaster has described his family's pain as they endure a long wait for the return of his body.

Cameron Dalziel, who had dual British and South African nationality, was one of 10 British nationals on flight MH17 when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17.

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Cameron Dalziel was among 10 British victims of the disaster. Credit: Facebook

The father-of-two's brother Campbell told the Sunday Times that Cameron's wife is "absolutely distraught" since the crash.

He hit out at the treatment of the 298 victims, whose bodies lay abandoned in a field close to the crash site in the days after the incident.

"They had been lying in a strange field in a conflict zone, abandoned for four days while investigators were prevented from going to retrieve their dead," he said.

"So the professionalism and dignity of how they were honoured as fallen soldiers was such a stark contrast to the days after the crash."

Read: Parents of MH17 victims 'living in a hell beyond hell'

Malaysia Airlines boss calls for flight path safety body

A new independent body which decides which flight paths are safe needs to be created following the MH17 disaster, the boss of Malaysia Airlines has said.

The company said MH17's flight path had been approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the European airspace service provider Eurocontrol ahead of take-off.

Reuters
Some 298 people died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Credit: Reuters

Huge Dunleavy, the company's commercial director, said individual airlines should no longer be responsible for decisions on which territories are safe to fly over, but could no longer rely on existing bodies for the information.

"Ultimately, we need one body to be the arbiter of where we can fly," he wrote in the Sunday Telegraph.

"For the sake of passenger and crew safety we need to insist on a higher level of authority."

Read: Clegg calls for Russia to be stripped of World Cup after MH17 disaster

Clegg: Unthinkable that Russia should host World Cup

Nick Clegg has said it is "unthinkable" that Russia should host the 2018 World Cup, as he called for tougher sanctions on Moscow following the MH17 disaster.

The deputy prime minister warned that failure to strip Russia of the tournament would "make the rest of the world look so weak and so insecure".

Mr Clegg told the Sunday Times that Vladimir Putin "can't have his cake and eat it", adding:

He [Vladimir Putin] can't constantly, you know, push the patience of the international community beyond breaking point, destabilise a neighbouring country, protect these armed separatists in the east of Ukraine and still have the privilege and honour of receiving all the accolades in 2018 for being the host nation of the World Cup.

It’s unthinkable that he should have the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2018.

You can't have this - the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian Ukrainian border.

Not only would Vladimir Putin exploit it, I think it would make the rest of the world look so weak and so insincere about our protestations about Vladimir Putin's behaviour if we're not prepared to pull the plug.

– Nick Clegg

Read: Clegg calls for Russia to be stripped of 2018 World Cup

Clegg calls for Russia to be stripped of 2018 World Cup

Nick Clegg has joined calls for Russia to be stripped of the 2018 World Cup over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The deputy prime minister said the "beautiful game" could not be "marred by the ugly aggression of Russia", claiming it was "unthinkable" that the tournament could go ahead in the country.

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Nick Clegg said it was 'unthinkable' that the 2018 World Cup could be held in Russia. Credit: PA

Western leaders have accused Russia of arming the rebels in eastern Ukraine who have been widely blamed for shooting down the airliner, leaving 298 people dead.

Football's governing body Fifa rejected calls from some German politicians to review the decision, claiming the competition could be a "force for good".

Mr Clegg also said Russia's first Formula 1 Grand Prix in October should be cancelled, but F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone insists the race in Sochi will go ahead.

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