Channel NewsAsia

Ukraine president orders forces to halt fire around MH17 crash site

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on Monday said he had ordered government forces to halt fire in a 40 kilometre area around the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Ukraine also said it was not responsible for any shelling in Donetsk on Monday.

KIEV: Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on Monday said he had ordered government forces to halt fire in a 40 kilometre area around the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

"I have given an order: immediately within a 40 kilometre radius around the disaster site Ukrainian troops must not conduct operations and must not open fire," Poroshenko was quoted as telling journalists by the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that a spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council said the army was not responsible for any shelling on Monday in Donetsk.

"There is work on clearing approaches to the city, on destroying checkpoints of the terrorists. If there are explosions in the middle of the city - then it is not Ukrainian soldiers," Andriy Lysenko told a news conference.

Pro-Russian separatists had claimed that Ukrainian forces were trying to break into the city in east Ukraine, which is a rebel stronghold.

MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was reportedly shot down by a surface-to-air missile in east Ukraine, killing 298 people on board.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia