GRABOVO, Ukraine — Three days after the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, fumes swirled above charred fields filled with blackened metal, human remains, and personal belongings in Grabovo, the village where much of what remains of the jet is scattered.
Grabovo, about 60 miles from the Russian border in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, is where investigators hope to learn what happened to the Boeing 777 that crashed Thursday with 298 passengers and crew.
While Ukraine’s easternmost regions have grown accustomed to gunfire and explosions after months of fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government troops, the carnage has horrified Grabovo’s 1,000 residents.
The United States and others have said pro-Russia separatists are most likely responsible for firing the missile that downed the Boeing 777, and they were among the first people on the scene.
Men with rifles, representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, patrolled Grabovo and stood watch over those searching for victims and cataloguing remains. The insurgents have limited access to international investigators.
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