Emotions Run Hot in Ukraine
KIEV – Ukraine’s parliament approved a presidential decree on Tuesday (July 22) to call up more military reserves to fight rebels in eastern Ukraine, as scuffles broke out between members in the tense chamber.
Some 45 days after the latest call-up of additional reserves, which has now expired, Kiev repeated the decree to conduct partial mobilisation to ensure the ranks of what Ukraine calls its “anti-terrorist operation” are filled. Brief scuffles broke out between nationalist politicians and members of the party that was led by the former president, Viktor Yanukovich, who was overthrown in February.
When one member of Yanukovich’s Regions party was thrown out of the chamber, Communist party colleagues also walked out in protest.
He put the numbers close to the border at 41,000 and said they were equipped with 150 tanks, 1,400 armoured vehicles and 500 other weapon systems.
Bodies of MH17 Victims Leaving
It was a long journey but finally five refrigerated wagons reached Ukraine’s Kharkiv airport. They were carrying the remains of some of the 289 victims, who died on board the Malaysia Airlines jet.
Flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, where the government is trying to quell a pro-Russian backed separatist rebellion. These 12 wooden coffins are the first of what will be many to leave Ukraine.
They were laid out on the tarmac for a short and sombre ceremony to mark the departure of the victims. Diplomats and politicians paid tribute to the dead. The Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister said the downing of the plane was an “inhumane terrorist act” carried out with help from Russia.
But Russia and separatist rebels blame Ukraine. After the ceremony, honorary guards placed the coffins onto a transport plane to be flown to the Netherlands.
Both sides are blaming the other for the disaster.
Airtraffic over the area where the Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down remains quiet.
FILES: DAILY MOTION / REUTERS