About Life in The Netherlands

Dutch parliament thanks Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans: "what an incredible good country we are!"

International investigators and observers were again prevented from reaching the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Tuesday by fierce fighting in the area between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces.


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July, 26 2014 Final flights bring MH17 bodies to Netherlands

The final flights containing victim’s bodies have landed in the Netherlands.

One Dutch Hercules C-130 and one Royal Australian C-17 transporter touched down at Eindhoven Air Base, each carrying 19 coffins containing victims from the crash zone in eastern Ukraine,

The 38 coffins flown on the final convoy now brings the total number of bodies carried back to the Netherlands to 227, but unrecovered bodies still remain at the crash site, where they are exposed to tampering, weather and an active conflict zone. As the first coffin was lowered from the planes on the runway, silence fell over Eindhoven military airport. The only sound came from a row of flags whipping in the wind at half mast.

MH17 crash: Parents of victim Fatima Dyczynski arrive at Ukraine site to search for their daughter

George and Angela Dyczynski came to the war zone to honour their 25-year-old daughter, Fatima, even though officials have urged families of those who were on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 not to visit.

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans Gives Perfect Response To Horror Of MH17

Amid the recriminations and blame that has descended into a Cold War of words between Russia and the West over the downing of flight MH17, the victims have been robbed of their dignity, laid bare in this powerful speech by the Dutch Foreign Minister.

Pausing at times to contain his emotion, Frans Timmermans spoke to the United Nations of his shock at the treatment of the bodies, the indignity of the news coverage, and the obfuscation of the details of the crash.

"Did they lock hands with their loved ones, did they hold their children close to their hearts?" His voice began to tremble as he continued. "Did they look each other in the eyes, one final time, in a wordless goodbye? We will never know."

  1. Dutch Minister Frans Timmermans of Foreign Affairs  with his Australian colleague Julie Bishop, seeing the Dutch plane Hercules take off
  2. Coffins of 74 MH17 victims arrive in Eindhoven
  3. Mourning: Airline crew were among dozens of people to lay flowers for the victims of Mayalsia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, today
  4. Upset: Queen Maxima of the Netherlands (pictured centre alongside her husband King Willem-Alexander) wipes away a tear as the first bodies of victims are removed from an air force transport plane yesterday
  5. Sombre: Dutch military personnel are pictured carrying a coffin containing the remains of a MH17 victim to a waiting hearse today
  6. Final journey: A convoy of hearses today carried a second batch of MH17 victims to a military barracks in Holland following the coffins’ arrival in the Netherlands
  7. On duty: Dutch military personnel are pictured at the air base in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 24 July 2014, after the two military aircraft brought back more coffins
  8. Sombre: Dutch military personnel are pictured carrying a coffin containing the remains of a MH17 victim to a waiting hearse today
  9. Awaiting the arrival: Dressed in black, Dutch dignitaries are pictured waiting at the airbase in Eindhoven as the second batch of MH17 victims are brought via plane

MH17 Disaster Prompts Heartfelt Apology From Russian Newspaper Novaya Gazeta

One of Russia’s leading newspapers has dedicated its front page to a moving apology to the Dutch people for the downing of MH17.

The full page picture on today’s Novaya Gazeta is captioned: ‘Vergeef ons, Nederlands’ - ‘Forgive us, Netherlands’ in Dutch, with the Russia translation below.

The sombre page, edged in black, shows the memorial procession of black hearses carrying the bodies of some of the near 200 Dutch people killed in the tragedy in eastern Ukraine last week, widely believed to have been caused by pro-Russia Ukrainian rebels, armed by Moscow.

MH17 plane crash: latest news

July 24, 2014 15.40 Further victims’ bodies to arrive by air to Eindhoven this afternoon

Planes carrying more bodies of MH17 victims arrived have arrived in the city of Eindhoven, from where they are to be taken to a military barracks in Hilversum, near Amsterdam, for forensic examination and identification.

Seventy-four coffins arrived on two planes and are to be given the same military honours as the 40 caskets that arrived yesterday. They will be taken to the barracks in individual hearses.

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - JULY 23:  (L-R) King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands stands with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands as unidentified bodies from the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are transferred to hearses on July 23, 2014 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Today the people of the Netherlands are holding a national day of mourning. Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers. The aircraft was allegedly shot down by a missile and investigations continue to find the perpetrators of the attack.  

Dutch mourn as first MH17 bodies arrive in Netherlands

The bodies of the first victims from a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday amid dignified grief tinged with anger.

Bells pealed and flags flew at half mast in memory of the 298 people killed when flight MH17 crashed in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists, in the first national day of mourning since wartime Queen Wilhelmina died in 1962. King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte led dignitaries on the tarmac as two military aircraft carrying 40 plain wooden coffins landed at Eindhoven Airport in the southern Netherlands.

A military honour guard stood to attention as a lone trumpeter played The Last Post, the military funeral call for people killed in war.

After a minute’s silence - observed in stations, factories, offices and streets across this stunned nation - soldiers and marines boarded the Dutch Hercules C-130 and Australian Boeing C-17 to carry the coffins to 40 waiting hearses lined up on the runway.

Relatives of some of the victims were present at the airport but were shielded from the media glare, officials said.

Windmills around this low-lying coastal nation were set in a mourning position and church bells tolled as the planes carrying the remains arrived from Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, shortly before 4 p.m. (1400 GMT).

Malaysia jet victims’ bodies arrive in Netherlands

Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 landed Wednesday in the southern city of Eindhoven, and pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in the east as fighting flared in the region.

Six days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, the first bodies finally arrived in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest toll in the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew.

A Dutch Hercules C-130 that Dutch government spokesman Lodewijk Hekking says is carrying 16 coffins was closely followed by an Australian C-17 Globemaster plane carrying 24 coffins.