More Than 200 Australians Are Now Involved In MH17 Recovery, As Tony Abbott Wants International Police To Secure Crash Site

The MH17 crash site remains under the control of separatists. Photo: Getty

More than 50 Australian police are in London waiting to head to the Ukraine as part of an international United Nations-controlled force to secure the site where Malaysia Airlines MH17 came down, killing 298 people.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this afternoon more than 200 Australians were now involved in ‘Operation Operation Bring Them Home’ under the command of former Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is bound for Kiev, as the Prime Minister seeks a memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainian government to allow an international police team to secure the crash site.

Mr Abbott said circumstances under which Australian police will be deployed had yet to be determined, but he wants them to be deployed as quickly as possible.

The problem, he said, was that the area was still being controlled by Russian separatists “with a vested interest in the outcome” of any investigation.

“It’s obvious nothing is happening without the approval of the armed rebels who most likely brought down the plane,” Abbott said.

Which countries will be part of the international police team are not yet finalised, he said.

He said it would “quite ill-advised” for anyone who’s lost family in the crash to travel to Ukraine at this time.

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