U.N. to vote on MH17 crash access

HRABOVE, Ukraine — The United Nations Security Council is expected later Monday to vote on a resolution demanding international access to the eastern Ukraine crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. It remains unclear whether Russia would block any such move.

"This is still an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday, speaking about the crash site that is controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

"Given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft, having these people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene," Abbott added.

Putin said Russia was doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, to investigate the scene. He also again criticized the Ukraine authorities in Kiev for reigniting fighting with rebels.

As one of five permanent members of the Security Council, Russian has the power to veto council resolutions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday there was mounting evidence that a Russian-made missile, an SA-11, brought down the airliner.

As pressure was growing on Russia on Monday, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yetsenyuk proposed that the Netherlands should lead any international investigation.

Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers when it crashed Thursday over rebel territory. The Netherlands lost 193 citizens in the crash, more than any other nation.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday that experts from his nation arrived in Torez in Ukraine and have started work identifying the remains of victims which are being stored in refrigerated trains.

In a separate development, there were unconfirmed reports Monday of renewed fighting between pro-Kiev forces and separatists near the main train station in Donetsk, widely seen as the last major stronghold held by rebel forces.


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