MH17: 'Damn you for centuries, Putin!'

Last updated 11:26 19/07/2014

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Ukraine is using a photo of an infant victim of the MH17 disaster to attack Russia, saying Vladimir Putin president has the baby's blood on his hands.

A senior government adviser posted a picture of one of MH17's infant victims with a message to Putin saying: "This baby's death is on your conscience", before adding, "Damn you for centuries!", the Daily Mail reported.

The image was published as it emerged at least 80 children were among the 298 passengers and crew on board.

All 283 passengers, and 15 crew members aboard the Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight were killed the crash on Friday at 3am, NZT. US authorities and aviation experts say the Boeing 777 was likely brought down by a ground-to-air missile, but so far there is no proof of who fired it. Ukraine and the insurgents blame each other.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said a New Zealand woman on the plane normally resided in Australia, and was travelling with her husband, a Dutch citizen. A British citizen also on the plane had lived in New Zealand long-term. Two Newcastle United fans who were travelling to watch their football team play in New Zealand were among the victims.

The escalating rhetoric has fuelled fears that both sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict are using the crash to further their own agendas rather than as an opportunity to make peace.

Putin was earlier quoted as saying it was the fault of the Ukrainian government for failing to reach a compromise with the pro-Russian separatists.

He said, "This tragedy wouldn't have occurred if there had been peace on this land and hostilities hadn't been renewed in Ukraine's southeast."

He said the government whose territory the attack was on was responsible for the tragedy.

However Western leaders are directing anger at Russia's aggression on its borders.

United States President Barack Obama accused Russia of supplying arms to the rebels which blasted MH17 out of the sky yesterday morning.

United Kingdom leaders have said it appears increasingly likely that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a separatist missile. Prime Minister David Cameron earlier said those responsible would pay.

The United Nations has urged that a "thorough and independent" investigation take place to determine exactly what brought down the fatal flight. There have been questions asked about whether the flight path was slightly diverted to make an unplanned turn into the danger zone.

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International monitors of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe arrived on the crash site, sent to gather more information about what happened to the airliner.

Throughout the day rescue workers, police, and even coal miners combed the site. But Ukraine premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk said pro-Moscow rebels were preventing emergency workers reaching the scene of the crash, despite promises to the contrary.

His allegation raised the fear vital evidence could be tampered with.

Overnight, looters took valuable goods from the scene.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Kiev government, said: 'I have received information that terrorist death-hunters were collecting not only cash and jewellery of the crashed Boeing dead passengers but also the credit cards of the victims."

- Straight Furrow

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