BP profits plummet 21% as Russia sanctions bite

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Oil giant BP (British Petroleum) has suffered a fall in profits from July to September amid lower oil prices and the decreasing value of the ruble.

Europe’s third-largest company said it made $3bn (£1.86bn) in the third quarter, down from $3.7bn (£2.29bn) in the same period last year – a fall of 21 percent.

BP has invested heavily in Russia and owns a nearly 20 percent stake in Rosneft, the Russian state-run oil company. It is now feeling the impact of Western economic sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

The company’s net income from the Rosneft stake dropped considerably – down to $110m from $808m in the same period last year.

BP said the depreciation of the ruble against the dollar was the reason for the drop in profits. Lower Urals oil prices also hurt profits, the London-based company said in a statement.

Crude oil prices dropped over the past four months by 25 percent to a four-year low of around $85 a barrel, due to slowing global demand, especially in China, and ample supplies.

However, it said the latest sanctions imposed on Russia in July “have had no material adverse impact on BP.”

British energy giant BP CEO Bob Dudley (AFP hoto / Vasily Maximov)British energy giant BP CEO Bob Dudley (AFP hoto / Vasily Maximov)

In turn, BP’s underlying oil and gas production, which excludes Russia, rose 4.1 percent.

Despite the drop in oil prices and profits, BP raised its dividend to 10 cents per share.

BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, remains positive: “Growing underlying production of oil and gas and a good downstream [refining oil] performance generated strong cash flow in the third quarter, despite lower oil prices. This keeps us well on track to hit our targets for 2014,” he said in a statement.

Rosneft delayed the publication of its own third quarter profit results without giving an explanation.

During the third quarter, BP paid out $314 million over the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the massive oil spillage that followed in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. BP has now paid out $20 billion in charges for the disaster.

GERMANY OF 1930S AND UKRAINE IN 2014: OMINOUS SIMILARITY

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Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe

by ALEXANDER DONETSKY | STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION | OCTOBER 27, 2014

If one compares the Germany of the 1920-1930s and the Ukraine of today – the similarity is striking.

The situation in the country allows a political party seen as a marginal one by the majority of population ride the wave of discontent to become a major political actor. It comes to power and establishes a dictatorship. Formally President von Hindenburg led the country, but the members of the National Socialist German Workers Party held all key government positions. Germany quickly turned into a totalitarian state. The same thing is taking place in Ukraine. Top government officials connive at advocates of Nazi ideology who grab all key positions. Only yesterday the Ukrainian Nazi were viewed as a marginal force and today they spread their views to make the ideology of national socialism permeate all aspects of public life.

* * *

Social nationalism is another name for the ideology of Ukrainian integral nationalism that emerged in the 1920-1940s. According to its founders, the ideology is a compilation of German Nazism and Italian fascism adapted to the Ukrainian realities. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was the driving force spreading this ideology around. Stepan Bandera, one of the organization’s leaders, got a prison sentence in Poland for committing a terrorist act. He was freed by Hitler’s occupational force and recruited by Abwehr. Bandera went around by the nickname of Grey. Now the man is the most revered hero of the new Kiev regime. Eugene Konovalets (alias Consul), the first leader of OUN, and his successor Andrei Melnyk (Consul-2) also worked for Abwehr.

The revival of fascism in Ukraine started in the late 1980s. Underground student circles supported by Canada and US-based emigrants, former OUN fighters, sprang up in Lviv. As Ukraine became an independent state many groups emerged to announce themselves as ideological successors to the OUN’s Bandera group: UNA-UNSO (the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense), the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Patriot of Ukraine, the Social-Nationalist Party (in 2005 renamed the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda), the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), the Social-National Assembly of Ukraine (S.N.A.), the Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization ″Trizub″, the All-Ukrainian organization Sich etc. They all supported the idea of pure race totalitarian state and tough nationalist dictatorship ruled by the “leader of the nation”.

In the late 1920s-early 1930s German newspaper Welt am Abend warned about the possibility of Hitlerites coming to power. It wrote that fascist combat units formally got separated from the party to go underground and act as sports unions, sharp shooters clubs, skittles clubs and singing groups. The same thing took place in Ukraine in 1990-2010. The UNA-UNSO, Trizub and Svoboda monopolized all the paintball, shooting and martial arts clubs and associations of football fans and scouts. They spread their ideology among senior school-goers and students. The nationalist propaganda was especially aggressive in the universities of Lviv, Kiev, Kharkov where students responded en mass to the calls for violent overthrow of government and unleashing a nationalist revolution in Ukraine.

It had been known many months before the Maidan events that nationalists had been preparing a coup. In October 2012 one of Svoboda leaders made a speech at the meeting in honor of UPA calling on Neo-Nazi to foster military spirit and hone combat skills to fight the occupation force. Her colleague Yuri Mikhalchishin made precise that it was necessary to prepare for urban warfare and “make the enemies of Ukrainian nation eat asphalt”, meaning first of all Russians and Jews. A year later the Trizub leadership said at the press-conference that the plans existed to take power of the whole country and eliminate the enemies of the nation. The UNSO and the Patriot of Ukraine formally separated from Svoboda, that provided a training base for the party members, and started to run their own courses to master the combat, rappel assault and explosives handling skills, as well as tactics to capture buildings. The Pamyatka (Instruction) that was published in the third edition of Banderovets newspaper (2010) instructed everyone to learn martial arts, master military endurance sports, shooting and knife fight skills. The same newspaper explained what the training was required to seize power soon. The groups mentioned above, as well as outright racists and anti-Semitists, like “fighters for the purity of white race” from White Hammer, became the main fighting force during the coup that took place in Kiev in February 2014. Like in the case of German SA, the groups’ militants formed units called “hundreds of Maidan self-defense”. The fascist Germany used the “Sieg Heil!” greeting as a way of saluting. The activists of Maidan-2014 movement greeted each other with words “Long Live Free Ukraine!” to be answered with “Long Live Heroes!” in response, the very same way it is practiced by Bandera followers. As time went by this semi-official All-Ukrainian greeting became the official way to hail each other in the Ukrainian armed forces. They salute with right hand – a well-known gesture. The OUN red-black flag became the second semi-official flag of Ukraine that inherited the Nazi symbols – blood and soil.

* * *

Coming to power Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov and Petro Poroshenko could not but express gratitude to neo-Nazi for the support. Valentin Nalivaichenko has close links to Trizub, the group which served as a basis for Pravy Sector (a Ukrainian nationalist political party). He was appointed the head of Ukrainian Security Service. Andriy Parubiy is the founder of the Patriot of Ukraine and Social-Nationalist Party. He got the position of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. Igor Smeshko, a retired Colonel-General (three stars), is the founder of Sich which is part of Social-National Assembly of Ukraine. Some time ago he was appointed presidential advisor and chairman of the presidential committee for intelligence. Sergey Kwit banned the use of Russian language on the territory of Kiev Mohyla Academy that he headed at the time. Now he became the Minister of Education. Ihor Shvaika and Andrey Mohnik, the Svoboda political party members, now head, accordingly, the ministries of agriculture and ecology and natural resources. There are many other people who hold less important positions to instill the ideological mixture of Italian fascism and German Nazism into all spheres of life from economy to military training, from art and TV to school education.

On October 6, Odessa-based Timer published the text of school dictation for Ukrainian language learners. Here is a fragment, that goes as, “We – the children of Ukraine and she is our mother. Mothers, as is known, are not chosen. Honest people. Born Ukrainians, the people of Little Russia refuse to recognize their native mother and go to stepmother to serve her as if she were the one to give them birth…These creatures only look like humans being scum of the earth in reality. They are only half humans even if they have higher education and academic degrees. Since a long time ago they deserve to be behind bars in Ukrainian jails. The prisons shed tears willing to accommodate their “clients”. Don’t cry, prisons, your time will come, Ukrainophobes will be behind bars and not as your guests. They will come to stay forever. And then the Ukrainian society will get rid of this trash, this unbearable filth and shame”.

Yuri Mikhalchishin is appointed deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) responsible for analysis and ideological work. Since 2012 Mikhalchishin is a member of Ukrainian parliament and one of leading ideologists of Nazi Svoboda party. He played a pivotal role in making public the speeches of Goebbels to be read in Ukraine now. He believes that the social nationalist revolution is ahead to change the world and “only the people with new mindset and pattern of action can create the new life as they are not burdened by the past”.

Valentin Nalivaichenko, the head of Ukrainian counterintelligence, has been a sponsor of terrorist organization Trizub for a few years being involved in the combat training of its members. With him at the helm one can imagine what kind of ideological work his deputy Yuri Mikhalchishin will do!

Like Gestapo in the fascist Germany the Ukrainian Security Service is not under the jurisdiction of administrative courts. To oppose its activities one cannot appeal to justice like in the case of other state bodies. The same way as Gestapo the service enjoys the right of preventive arrest without a court decision. Like the subordinates of Heinrich Himmler in the 1930s-1940s the Ukrainian Security Service operatives supervise the implementation of the slave labor program called “public works”. The agency led by Nalivaichenko is notorious for cruel tortures and beatings. The fact is proven by ample evidence provided by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics self-defence forces servicemen, as well as civilians accused of separatism. The Ukrainian counter-intelligence operatives practice assassinations of the government’s political opponents. For instance Alexander Samoilov, the pro-rector of Kharkiv International Slavic University, was detained by Ukrainian Security Service in Kharkiv together with some other “separatists”.

Turning a blind eye on the similarities between the Germany of Hitler and the contemporary Ukraine is tantamount to allowing a Nazi state emerge in the heart of Europe. The state that poisons their people by inculcating the ideology of the ethnic exclusiveness, propagates the idea of physical extermination of dissidents and feeds the dreams of global domination exercised by militarized Ukraine going nuclear. It’s not an exaggeration: it’s enough to read the program of any organization mentioned in the article to see that the affirmation is true.

UNESCO: CRIMEA PART OF UKRAINE, NOT RUSSIA

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UNESCO’s Executive Board voted Thursday to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine, not Russia

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 24 (UPI) — The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has affirmed Crimea’s status as part of Ukraine.
Ukrainian deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kyslytsya announced on Twitter Thursday that “UNESCO has confirmed that Crimea belongs to Ukraine irrespective of what Russia says and how [it] tries to bluff its way [through the Russian-Ukrainian crisis].”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that UNESCO’s Executive Board convened Thursday, voting overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing Crimea as part of Ukraine. Three out of the 25 member countries voted against.

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The Ukrainian government continues to refute Russia’s claim of control over Crimea. On June 26, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg that “Our relations cannot be normalized [with Russia] without the return of Crimea.”

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/10/24/UNESCO-Crimea-part-of-Ukraine-not-Russia/3201414166481/#ixzz3H5L3kCyH

LEADING CONTRARIAN ECONOMIST: “WE ARE COMING IN ON THE END GAME HERE”

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Debt is out of control and foreign holders of U.S. Treasury bonds are getting antsy

by MAC SLAVO | SHTFPLAN.COM | OCTOBER 21, 2014

To say that the U.S. economy is in trouble would be an understatement. According toShadow Stats economist John Williams, we may be on the very cusp of a crisis so severe that it promises to re-write the entire paradigm. Debt is out of control and foreign holders of U.S. Treasury bonds are getting antsy. Nowhere is this more obvious than in China and Russia, where leaders of the globe’s other super powers are feverishly working to distance themselves from the U.S. dollar by establishing new monetary relationships that completely bypass the world’s reserve currency.

A loss of confidence in America’s ability to manage its fiscal, economic and monetary policy coupled with a continued slowdown in growth could soon reveal what Williams calls “the end game.”

It’s coming sooner rather than later suggests Williams in a recent interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog:

“I can’t give you good reason for why the stock market is as high as it is. The fact you are seeing this volatility means there are a lot of people who are very nervous about what is going on and where things are in the market.It is probably one of the great bubbles of all time. It most likely will collapse along the lines of the U.S. dollar in response to the reality of no economic recovery. . . . I can’t think of a more vulnerable market than what we are seeing here.”

You are getting a confluence of extraordinary factors that are coming together that will cause the dollar to break. You’ll have a panic flight from the dollar along with dumping of U.S. Treasury bonds by foreign owners. We are coming in on the end game here.”

“I have been forecasting hyper-inflation in 2014 for some years now. We are coming to the end of 2014, and it hasn’t happened. A prerequisite is a collapse in the dollar. A collapse in the dollar can happen at anytime . . . and at this point, I am not looking to change the outlook.”

“I have had a lot of calls from clients recently to that effect, yes. I can tell you what they are seeing in terms of their business, after adjusting for inflation, and that’s using the government’s inflation number; they are not seeing any sales growth. How can you have no sales growth in 80% of the economy and have a booming economy? It’s not happening.”

Since 2010 John Williams has repeatedly warned of a coming hyperinflationary event that will leave the United States decimated. With the loss of purchasing power of the U.S. dollar will also come disruptions to the normal flow of commerce, including domestic supply chains.

As the dollar breaks down, you’ll also likely see disruptions in supply chains, including shipments of food to grocery stores. People should consider maintaining stockpiles of basic goods needed for living, much as they would for a natural disaster.

I have a supply of goods and basic necessities in case something terrible happens-natural or man-made-that will carry me for a couple of months. It may take that long for a barter system to evolve, which I think is what you’re going to end up with; at least until a new currency system is reorganized and you get a government that’s able to bring its fiscal house into order.
It’s an effect we saw happen in Greece several years ago when debt levels got to such levels that no one was willing to lend the collapsing nation any money. This led to a widespread breakdown – people were fighting for food, life-saving medicines were unavailable, power regulators almost shut down electricity to the entire country, andbarter networks sprung up because money was simply not available to the average person.

What became valuable in Greece is exactly what you might expect – physical assets.

The price of precious metals sky rocketed on the streets of Greece. Those with food were able to barter for other services. And those with specialized skills were able to trade their labor for essential goods.

The situation was dire, but with the U.S. and Europe eventually offering up billions of dollars in bailouts a complete collapse was averted.

This left many people with the impression that no matter how bad things get, there will always be a bailout.

But what happens when America experiences a similar crisis? Who will have enough money to bail us out? Which country will be willing to cough up trillions of dollars to support the U.S. financial system and economy?

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who presided over the collapse of 2008, has said that the United States was on the brink of collapse. At the time Congress was warned that failure to pass the bank bailouts would have led to tanks on the streets of America.

Considering we have yet to resolve the fundamental issues that plagued our economy then, how bad will it get when the next crisis unfolds?

As Greece was falling apart one of our contributors contacted us to share how desperate things had gotten.

“My shotgun is full and well equipped. I hope i don’t need to use it.”
This is coming to America. Ayn Rand once said that we can ignore reality, but we cannot ignore the consequences of reality.

If you haven’t take steps to do so, it’s time to get prepared for the consequences.

FBI director wants access to encrypt Apple, Google users’ data, demands law ‘fix’

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The FBI director has slammed Apple and Google for offering their customers encryption technology that protects users’ privacy. “Deeply concerned” James Comey wants to push on Congress to “fix” laws to ensure police can still access private data.

“It’s the equivalent of a closet that can’t be opened. A safe that can’t be cracked,” Comey, speaking at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC, referred to the encryption technology calling the new service “a marketing pitch.”

“But it will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels,” he warned.

Apple has recently presented its latest Mac OS X operating system for desktop and laptop computers, encouraging its customers to use FileVault disk encryption technology to keep their data secure. The tool would also prevent NSA or FBI from having access to phones and computers.

Google said it wanted to follow suit with its Android operating system and “encryption will be enabled by default.”

If a customer does not decline the encryption offer, his or her computer or phone will be locked.

This means that the companies will not be able to unlock a phone or a hard drive to reveal photos, documents, e-mail or recordings stored within.

“Criminals and terrorists would like nothing more than for us to miss out,” Comey said, adding that encrypted information on “a bad guy’s phone has the potential to create a black hole for law enforcement.”

“Justice may be denied because of a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive,” he said.

READ MORE: Mass internet surveillance is ‘corrosive of online privacy’ – UN report

While law enforcements would still be able to intercept conversations, it would be impossible to access call data, contacts, photos and emails.

Comey believes that “encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place,” while the companies argue that it is a necessary option that will protect customers from unlawful surveillance and private data access.

Edward Snowden’s revelations have provoked the US tech companies to find better protection for personal information.

Comey acknowledged: “The post-Snowden pendulum has swung too far in one direction—in a direction of fear and mistrust.”

“Some believe that the FBI has these phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time—that we can get what we want, when we want it, by flipping some sort of switch,” he said. “It may be true in the movies or on TV. It is simply not the case in real life.”

The FBI director would like to see changes made to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, “enacted 20 years ago—a lifetime in the internet age.”

Companies like Apple or Google, should be required to build lawful intercept capabilities for law enforcement, Comey says.

“We aren’t seeking to expand our authority to intercept communications,” he said. “We are struggling to keep up with changing technology and to maintain our ability to actually collect the communications we are authorized to intercept.”

CALEA only covers landline and cellphone companies, broadband services or internet phone services, which connect with traditional phones.

“We also need a regulatory or legislative fix,” Comey said, “so that all communication service providers are held to the same standard.”

Comey’s speech was not the first time he lashed out at Apple and Google for encrypting smartphones. In September, he told reporters in Washington that the encrypting technology offered by the companies, powering nearly 95 percent of the smart phones in the United States, severely hinder law enforcement operations.

NYFF: EDWARD SNOWDEN DOC ‘CITIZENFOUR’ REVEALS EXISTENCE OF SECOND NSA WHISTLEBLOWER

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At the end of the Laura Poitras doc, the famed informant registers shock over another who outranks him

A second National Security Agency whistleblower exists within the ranks of government intelligence.

That bombshell comes toward the end of Citizenfour, a new documentary from filmmaker Laura Poitras about NSA informant Edward Snowden that had its world premiere on Friday at the New York Film Festival.

In the key scene, journalist Glenn Greenwald visits Snowden at a hotel room in Moscow. Fearing they are being taped, Greenwald communicates with Snowden via pen and paper.
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While some of the exchanges are blurred for the camera, it becomes clear that Greenwald wants to convey that another government whistleblower — higher in rank than Snowden — has come forward.

The revelation clearly shocks Snowden, whose mouth drops open when he reads the details of the informant’s leak.

Also revealed by Greenwald is the fact that 1.2 million Americans are currently on a government watch-list. Among them is Poitras herself.

And the surprises don’t end there. Near the end of the film, which received a rousing standing ovation, it is revealed that Lindsay Mills, Snowden’s dancer girlfriend of 10 years, has been living with Snowden in Moscow.

When Poitras went to Moscow in July to show Snowden an early cut of the film, she shot footage of the two cooking dinner together, which appears in the final cut.

Snowden fled to Russia after the U.S. government revoked his passport and put pressure on other governments not to grant him asylum.

After spending 39 days in a Moscow airport, Snowden was granted a one-year asylum from President Vladimir Putin. He is now in the country on a three-year residency permit.

Poitras took the stage at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall following the screening, flanked by Greenwald, with whom she partnered on a pair of explosive stories in The Guardian and Washington Post about Snowden’s surveillance disclosures in June 2014.

Also joining them was Jeremy Scahill, their partner on the website The Intercept, and Snowden’s father and stepmother. Snowden’s father thanked Poitras for having made Citizenfour, which he deemed a “wonderful piece of work.”

Poitras kept her comments following the screening to a minimum, and thanked her crew and Snowden. Instead it was Greenwald and Scahill who did most of the talking, with Scahill at one point describing Poitras as “the most bad-ass director alive, period.”

Before the screening, Poitras told The Hollywood Reporter that she will never forget the moment when Snowden — who was so young Greenwald initially doubted his authenticity — said he was willing to go on the record with his allegations.

“One of the most intense moments was when Snowden told us his identity would not remain anonymous, and I knew that somebody was really, really putting their life on the line,” Poitras said.

MH17 victim found wearing oxygen mask – Dutch FM

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One of the passengers of the MH17 plane shot down over Ukraine was wearing an oxygen mask, Dutch Foreign Minister Franz Timmermans has said. This new revelation contradicts assumptions that all 298 people on board the plane died instantly.

Kiev seeks access to MH17 site to back ‘prefabricated’ crash version – Moscow

Timmermans’ comments suggest that the Boeing-777-200 shot down three months ago might not have fallen apart immediately after the aircraft was hit, killing all people aboard, if at least one passenger remained conscious and managed to pull an oxygen mask on.

“People hardly had time to notice the missile coming, but do you know that one of the victims was found with an oxygen mask over their mouth?” Timmermans said Thursday, HOC TV channel reported.

“This means that someone had time to do that,” he said. “At least, we cannot rule out this possibility.”

Dutch prosecutors have confirmed that one flight MH17 passenger, an Australian citizen, was found with the elastic strap of an oxygen mask around his neck.

It is not known “how or when the mask got around the victim’s neck,” AP quoted Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for Dutch prosecutors, as saying.

Dutch prosecutors said that no other MH17 victim was found with an oxygen mask on.

Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry gather and place bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)Members of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry gather and place bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

Magomed Talboev, Russia’s former top test pilot, told Slon.ru that finding one MH17 victim with an oxygen mask on does not necessarily contradict previously assumptions about the immediate death of everyone aboard.

“A couple of seconds could pass before the plane disintegrated,” Talboev said. “This is enough to grab a mask that falls automatically in front of your face and put it on – this is [survival] instinct.”

The Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down on July 17, flying from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It crashed near Torez, a settlement 60 kilometers from the Russian border, in the warzone where Ukrainian troops were fighting Donetsk self-defense forces. All 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers died.

Because most of the victims, 196 passengers, were Dutch citizens, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) is leading and coordinating the investigation of an international group of experts.

One month ago, on September 9, the DSB issued a preliminary report into the crash, saying that the plane “broke up in the air, probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.”

Everyone onboard died instantly because of immediate decompression, the report said, without mentioning any use of oxygen masks.

Because active military operations were continuing near the MH17 crash site, forensic experts were unable to recover evidence on the ground, and not all the bodies have been recovered three months on. After the Sept. 5 ceasefire agreement was reached between the warring parties, investigation activities at the crash site zone resumed.

So far, the bodies of 251 MH17 victims have been identified by Dutch officials in The Hague.