MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – A group of international experts and monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reached the Malaysian Boeing crash site in violence-plagued eastern Ukraine Thursday, the organization said.
“OSCE SMM monitors reach MH17 crash site for 1st time in almost week, accompanied by 4 Dutch, Australian experts," the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM) said via its official Twitter account.
The mission reported earlier that the convoy was making “steady progress towards #MH17 crash site, using a new access route.”
The group of international experts, which includes both OSCE monitors and Dutch and Australian experts, has been unable to reach the Boeing crash site for several days amid continuing military action in the area.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko promised to stop attacks in the area, but later Ukrainian officials announced that they planned to “clean up” the territory from militia, and fighting intensified.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Wednesday Moscow is concerned Kiev authorities are trying to destroy evidence of the tragedy that happened to the Malaysian plane.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier that recent attempts by international experts to get close to the crash site failed due to Kiev initiating military action, which is a violation of UN Security Council orders.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday also expressed concern over continued heavy fighting around the crash site of the Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine that has impeded the international investigation of the incident.
Malaysia Airlines MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur went down in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 people on board, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died in the crash.