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You're reading: Kremlin-backed rebels hand over MH17 black boxes to Malaysia
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They also promised to release the bodies recovered from the crash site some 40 miles east in the village of Grabove, which were inside refrigerated railcars at the Donetsk train station but would soon be on their way to the Ukrainian-controlled eastern city of Kharkiv, and declared a ceasefire within a six-mile radius around the crash site to allow international investigators safe access to the area. 

Donning his favorite blue blazer and flanked by gunmen, Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed prime minister the Donetsk People’s Republic, called July 22, “an important day in the history of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” as two camouflage-clad rebel ceremoniously removed two of the so-called black boxes from a white sack and placed them on the table inside the 11th-floor conference room of the rebel-occupied Donetsk regional administration.

Addressing reporters, Borodai deflected the blame for shooting down the jetliner and accused Kyiv of downing the plane, despite the mounting evidence provided by the government and the West that shows it was likely shot out of the sky using a Buk rocket system operated by fighters under his command. He said Kyiv had “both the technical ability and the motive” to shoot it down.

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