The Ukrainian government has failed to secure the crash site, as much as 25 square kilometres of territory, where debris from flight MH17 has fallen. The site is in rebel-held eastern Ukraine and the region’s pro-Russian separatists have prevented international observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe from examining it. There are even reports that a drunk separatist gunman fired a warning shot to forestall investigators from conducting their examinations despite assurances from rebel commanders that observers would have safe access to the crash site.

While workers from the Ukrainian government’s Emergencies Ministry have searched much of the site, the plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, the so-called ‘black boxes’, have not yet been found. There are reports of locals and militants moving debris and bodies and even saying they will conduct their own autopsies of the victims.