Press-briefing of Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenuyk on MH17 attack

Press-briefing of Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenuyk on MH17 attack

14:18, 21 липня 2014

First let me express once again my deepest condolences to the families who lost their beloved ones. We pray for everyone, we pray for these families, and the Ukrainian nation mourns.

Let me provide an update on the latest developments. The Ukrainian authorities discovered 272 bodies, 251 of which are already loaded into the refrigerator train. We sent two trains, with four cars each. They are right now located in Torez city.

These bloody guerrillas do not allow the train to leave the area. We expect that the train will leave the area as soon as possible.

The Ukrainian Government is ready to transfer an international investigation to our Dutch friends. The Dutch side could lead the process of investigation together with the entire international community and the Ukrainian authorities.

We are ready to transfer all bodies directly to Amsterdam as one of the best well equipped forensic laboratories is located in Amsterdam.

The Ukrainian Security Service has already started a comprehensive and thorough investigation of this deadly terrorist attack, of this crime against humanity under the existin bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Netherlands. We are ready in the full cooperation with the Dutch side and another international and foreign agencies to conduct this type of investigation.

Those who committed this international crime, those responsible will be held accountable, and together with the entire international community we will bring to justice everyone responsible, including the country which is behind the scenes, but which supplied a lethal weapon, provided financial support, trained these bastards, and supported and even orchestrated this kind of despicable crime.

The Ukrainian Government will do everything to investigate this crime, to transfer the bodies, to provide any support to all respective Governments, and to unfold the truth to the entire world.

Can I ask if the priority at the moment is the recovery of the bodies, removing those bodies from the crash site and moving them to Amsterdam – if so, does the train have to go through Donetsk? And if so – was it wise to begin military action in Donetsk this morning?

The key priority for us is to recover the bodies, to collect all evidence of this crime. As I already said, we recovered 272 bodies, 251 of which are already loaded in the refrigerators. We facilitated a route how to deliver these bodies to any destination which is needed, including capital Kyiv or Amsterdam as I already said. In Amsterdam we can get a perfect forensic expertise as our Dutch partners can provide well-equipped facilities. There is no indication about any military activity or counter-terrorist operation in the area of the crash site. We do understand our responsibility, because the key priority is to collect all evidence and to have a thorough investigation.

How are the negotiations going on, how do they happen? Are you discussing with the terrorist bastards or whatever you call them about the train – you said “as soon as possible” – what’s the timetable for it and how are you talking to them and who is talking to them?

The government has established a special commission in order to recover these bodies, in order to have this investigation. We have to talk to these bastards and we did it and due to this fact we recovered and collected the bodies and collected a number of evidences. This is an ongoing and never ending process, we are doing it 24/7 to make it as quick as possible.

You mentioned several times that you are willing to give the lead in the investigation to the Netherlands. Are you responding to demand from Russia or from the rebels that the investigation be taken out of the direct hands of the Ukrainian government? And is there a proposal from the other side that all of this be handled through Russia?

We are responding to the request of our Dutch partners. It was our Dutch friends who launched this request. And you know, that Dutch people suffered mostly. This is I would say even a humanitarian gesture. This is the right thing to do. And this will provide more independence to this investigation.

And do the rebels want to go through Russia?

I don’t care about these not rebels, but Russian lead guerillas. They are not rebels.

Do you expect the Russian government to increase its co-operation in this case or – according to you information, to your feelings as Prime minister – the situation is getting worse at the moment, in these hours? Thank you.

I expect nothing from the Russian government. What they can do: they can supply weapons, they can send well-trained agents, they can support these guerillas, but they have to stop and President Putin is to realize that enough is enough. This is not the conflict just between Ukraine and Russia. After they shot down the MH-17, this is an international and global conflict. So, what we expect from Russia and Russian regime is to deescalate the situation, to withdraw their agents, to close the border, to stop to support these bastards and to stick to international law and to international obligations and to present an unfold every information and every single evidence they have to get the real picture of what happened and to investigate this drama sorrowfully and as quick as possible.

I have a question about the experts who are sitting in Kyiv and cannot go to Donetsk and cannot investigate the scene where the aircraft came down. Can you say if they can go there in the next hours or days?

I want to update you with the latest information. The presidential plane touched down few hours ago. And let me give you the correct numbers. At 10 in the morning there were 31 international experts landing in Kharkiv city. 23 are Dutch experts, 2 German, 2 from the U.S., one from the U.K., and 3 representatives of Australian embassy. So the plane touched down just few hours ago.

Do you expect they will go there today or tomorrow?

It depends on the security situation. We are doing everything, what is possible to provide the humanitarian corridor and to deliver them exactly to the crash site.

Will Ukraine provide its missile inventory to the investigating agency as the Russians demand? And what’s your response to Putin’s statement that no one should use this crisis for cheap and selfish political achievement? Thank you

Ukrainian government and Ukrainian authorities, Department of Defense is ready to present an entire picture and comprehensive information in relation to all anti-aircraft missiles and surface-to-air missiles that are deployed on Ukrainian territory and used by Ukrainian military. Or – to be correct – that never have been used by Ukrainian military.

Can you clarify what seems to be a somewhat complicated situation where you seem to be in control of emergency workers and volunteers at the site, but you said that rebels are blocking the train? How much control does the Ukrainian Government have there and what are they actually doing to stop that train? Could you also comment on the reports that the anti-terrorist operation is moving to the city of Donetsk? Thank you.

We were allowed to get to the crash site and to recover the bodies only after we had very long talks with these Russian-led guerillas. But they still control the area. And they still control the railway station in the city of Torez. How? With guns and grenade launchers – this is the way how they control the area. So if we get the deal and if they allow us to transfer these bodies to the area that will be determined by the international rescue team, we will do it as quick as possible. On any other military issues we expect that the Security service of Ukraine will give a press conference, I want them to disclose the relevant information from the relevant agencies.

In light of what Secretary John Kerry and British Prime Minister Cameron said about European nations really putting pressure on Russia to do a lot of the things you were talking about – how much contact has the Ukrainian Government had with various European governments, particularly of Germany? And what does the Government expect from the countries like Germany in terms of what kind of pressure could be put on Russia to make this kind of changes?

Ukrainian authorities, the Ukrainian President and the Ukrainian Government are in constant touch with all our Western partners. And let me reiterate once again – this is not the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. This is the global conflict and this is the global threat. Russia is on the dark side. And this is our priority – a key priority – of the entire world – to stop Russian aggression. It was Russia who grabbed a territory of an independent country and annexed Crimea. It was Russia who sent the troops to Crimea. It was Russia who sent its agents to Donetsk and Lugansk. It was Russia who supplied lethal weapons, artillery and cash to these Russian-led terrorists. It was Russia who supported them. And it is Russia who violated the international law and the UN Charter – a P5 member! It’s a key international perpetrator! So it’s in our joint interest – this is the interest of the world – to stop this, to preserve peace and stability and to restore international law and order in Europe, not only in the Eastern Ukraine.

There were reports this morning of intense shelling in Donetsk, especially in the railway station. Can you tell us more about that?

In an hour there will be a press conference of the relevant agencies. I want to give you only credible and updated information.

Can you tell us what’s happening in Donetsk at the moment?

In an hour the Security service will make a press-conference. They will tell you everything they know. I am to update you with the information on the Malaysian MH17.

The Western media says the Ukrainian government already defined this tragic crash that the flight was shut down with Buk by the rebels before the international investigation and how do you explain that? And another question – how would you ensure the international rescue team their safety?

Thank you for the question. We are interested in having a comprehensive large-scale widespread and thorough international investigation. But let’s speak about facts – what’s on the ground, what’s really on the table? The first one: Ukrainian military never used surface-to-air missiles. Second one: Ukrainian Department of Defense will unfold all relevant information about the locations of anti-aircraft missiles. The third one: we got the footage and pictures of Russian-made anti-aircraft vehicle moving in the area that is fully and entirely controlled by Russian-led guerillas. The fourth one: we have the pictures of the missile launch. The fifth one: we got an intercept of the telephone calls between Russian-led guerillas and Russian FSB agents. The sixth one: we got the preliminary evidence of the clear fact that MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The seventh one: on the Internet, this bunch of idiots posted a chat saying that we downed Ukrainian military plane, then they deleted it in 30 seconds. In addition to this, we got a number of statements of intelligence agencies and respective governments clearly saying that they do share the opinion that MH17 was shot down by a missile. And it’s crystal clear that some Russian drunken guerilla cannot manage this system. This is to be a well-trained agent and what the Department of Defense reported to me is that to acquire this target and to shoot down the plane they need to work in collaboration with other radar systems that we don’t have on the Ukrainian territory. And we want an international investigation to get the real facts on who targeted MH17, who supported and provided the intelligence to those who committed this international crime. And I urge the Russian government to respond to all questions that have been raised. Thank you.