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MH17: Rebels 'Calm' As Search For Clues Begins
As plane crash investigators finally reach the fields where flight MH17 came down, the rebels who rule the region seem calmer and more relaxed, Sky's Stuart Ramsay reports from the scene.
The team on the ground in Ukraine has been given "full access" to the site, allowed through by the heavily-armed separatists that patrol the perimeter.
Ramsay saw at least five Malaysian officials wandering among the debris near Grabovo, with experts from other countries expected to arrive in the coming days.
"There have been no problems and they've been able to start their work, taking pictures and notes and lifting pieces of debris," Ramsay said.
"The situation is much better than it has been. It's noticeably calmer, although there are still checkpoints everywhere.
"The rebels have perhaps had it made clear to them that foreign convoys will be heading to this area and that they need to co-operate."
The gruesome task of removing the bodies and body parts, marked out among the wreckage with strips of white ribbon attached to sticks, is largely complete.
A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims has arrived in Kharkiv, where the long process of repatriation and identification will begin.
In Grabovo, the task now turns to the hunt for clues that might explain what happened to the Boeing 777.
Fierce fighting continues nearby, creating an unique environment for investigators "not used to working in Ukraine or in a warzone", Ramsay said.
The Malaysian team is accompanied to and from the crash site by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who themselves play a crucial role.
Every time they visit, they compare the scene with photos taken on previous days, checking for signs that any key evidence has been tampered with.
"They confirm the scene has been altered but that is not necessarily the result of a criminal act," Ramsay said.
"It may be that wreckage has been moved to get to bodies trapped underneath."
There is no indication of how long it will take investigators to gather the evidence they need, with parts of the plane strewn over what Ramsay described as a "huge area".
"Wreckage has fallen in dozens of fields, each of which is absolutely vast," he explained.
"Investigators have started at the main crash site where the body of the plane lies but that section that has been melted completely flat.
"We don't know for certain if they can achieve a Lockerbie-style piecing back together of the plane.
"I can't believe that could be possible."