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Updated: 07/23/2014 01:19:02AM

Stalemate at crash site

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A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)

Pro-Russian rebels, right, followed by members of the OSCE mission, walk by plane wreckage as they arrive for a media briefing at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission for the first time since last week's crash. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Pro-Russian rebels, right, followed by members of the OSCE mission, walk by plane wreckage as they arrive for a media briefing at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission for the first time since last week's crash. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - Bodies of crew members lie next to a destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Malaysian experts load items into a minivan in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/Olga Ivashchenko)

Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Malaysian air crash investigators take pictures of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Protesters stage a rally in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Protesters stage a rally in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Protesters stage a rally in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Protesters stage a rally in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, left, talks with Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, during the EU foreign ministers council at the European Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. European Union foreign ministers are meeting to consider further sanctions against Russia because of the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, with Britain and some other countries demanding much tougher measures. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

A woman carries icons before a religious service held by villagers in memory of the victims at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A woman carries icons before a religious service held by villagers in memory of the victims at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A woman carries icons before a religious service held by villagers in memory of the victims at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A woman carries icons before a religious service held by villagers in memory of the victims at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

EDITORS NOTE GRAPHIC CONTENT - A pro-Russian fighter, right, stands next to bodies of crew members of destroyed Ukrainian tank in the northern outskirts of city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The soldiers were reportedly killed in fighting between rebels and government forces Monday. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

A woman carries icons before a religious service held by villagers in memory of the victims at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, left, talks with Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, during the EU foreign ministers council at the European Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. European Union foreign ministers are meeting to consider further sanctions against Russia because of the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, with Britain and some other countries demanding much tougher measures. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A Malaysian air crash investigator holds a bag at a crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the village of Rozsypne, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

United Airlines jets are seen at the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Newark, N.J. In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport. Delta Air Lines and United Airlines suspended service between the U.S. and Israel indefinitely. The actions come days after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By SERGEI CHUZAVKOV and JUERGEN BAETZ

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KHARKIV, Ukraine — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russia separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders.

Five days after the plane was blown out of the sky, refrigerated railcars bearing victims’ bodies — gathered up after several days in the sun — rolled out of the war zone and into a weedy railyard in the city of Kharkiv.

The dead will be flown to the Netherlands, the homeland of most of the victims, for identification.

The Dutch government declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arrival of the first bodies in the afternoon.

It was unclear how many of the 282 corpses reported found so far were on the train. The crash killed all 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Jan Tuinder, the Dutch official in charge of the international team dealing with the dead, said that at least 200 bodies were aboard the train and that more remains could be found once the body bags are examined fully.

In other developments Tuesday:

• Senior U.S. intelligence officials said they have no evidence so far of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of the jumbo jet, which investigators believe was destroyed by a missile fired by separatists. The officials, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said the most likely explanation was that the plane was shot down by mistake.

• In Brussels, the European Union spared Russia sweeping new sanctions for now. The 28-nation bloc imposed punitive measures against Russian individuals but didn’t target entire sectors of the economy, preferring to wait for a clearer picture of last week’s disaster and Moscow’s suspected role.

The release of the bodies came amid other indications of progress: The black boxes were handed over to Malaysia Airlines, and three airline investigators were given access to the site Tuesday.

Still, there was no sign of a full investigation, and it was unclear when one could take place.

Rebel leader Andrei Purgin, deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying the insurgents are willing to guarantee the security of all international experts. It was not clear if that meant the unfettered access world leaders are demanding.

The wreckage lay unguarded across a wide stretch of farmland in the rebel-held east, raising fears that the evidence has been compromised. Even the red-and-white tape that had sealed off the fields had been torn away.

International observers, who have been allowed to visit only when accompanied by armed separatists, warned there were signs that the debris was being mishandled or even tampered with.

After a 17-hour journey from the town of Torez in rebel territory, the train carrying the dead arrived at a Kharkiv factory where Ukrainian authorities have set up their crash investigation center.

The train gave a low-pitched blast from its horn as the gray corrugated refrigerator cars slowly rolled past.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte warned grieving families that the identification of some victims could take weeks or even months.

Separately, the flight data recorders will be examined by British air accident investigators.

At the crash zone, Malaysia Airlines officials walked the site wearing backpacks, photographing the scattered debris.

Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said observers will check to see whether the wreckage has been disturbed.

“We are keeping a very close eye on that — looking at the fuselage now compared to what it was on Day One,” he said. “And we have noted some differences.”

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would do “everything in its power” to facilitate the investigation, including putting pressure on the rebels.

But he said that “was not enough” to resolve the situation. He challenged the legitimacy of the Ukrainian government, saying, “People came to power in an armed, anti-constitutional way.”

In Brussels, EU foreign ministers urged Russia to use its influence over the rebels to ensure an independent investigation. In a statement, they said they want “all those in the area to preserve the crash site intact.”

The EU targeted more Russian officials with economic sanctions and travel bans. The ministers stopped there for now but asked the EU’s executive arm to draw up more sweeping measures by Thursday if Russia fails to cooperate.

Those sanctions would target Russia’s high-tech, energy and weapons industries.

“Russia has not done enough to contribute to a de-escalation of the conflict,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

The EU is Russia’s biggest trading partner, and some members are wary of doing too much to antagonize Moscow.

The euro fell to its lowest point this year against the dollar amid fear the downing of the jet will further damage EU-Russia relations.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius blamed “terrorists supplied by Moscow” for shooting down the airliner. He called for an arms embargo in a direct challenge to France, which is building two warships for Russia.

———

Baetz contributed from Brussels. Also contributing were Ken Dilanian in Washington; David McHugh in Kiev; Jona Kallgren in Kharkiv; Laura Mills in Moscow, Lucien Kim in Hrabove; and John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels.


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