Monday 11 December 2017

Intercepted calls 'show rebels taking black boxes'

Separatist rebels believe they have recovered black box recorders from the wreckage of the MH17 airliner, as Kiev stepped up accusations Moscow is covering up its role in bringing down the jet.

Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic, said his men would hand over the flight data boxes to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Ukraine's intelligence service said the boxes had been seized on Moscow's orders to hide Russia's role in the shooting down of the Boeing 777.


The spy agency released telephone intercepts purporting to show a rebel commander ordering people at the scene to look for the recorders "because Moscow asks where the boxes are".

It claimed they showed Oleksandr Khodakovskyi, commander of the separatists' Vostok battalion, telling one worker: "Our friends from high above are very much interested in the fate of the black boxes.

"I mean people from Moscow."

In another exchange, he tells a rescue worker that anything found must not fall into the hands of observers from Europe's OSCE security agency.

Mr Borodai yesterday confirmed the rebels believed they had the recorders.


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