About Life in The Netherlands
  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.

Dutch national day of mourning for MH17 victims Wednesday

The Netherlands has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for the 193 Dutch victims of the flight MH17 crash, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a statement. 

The first bodies recovered from last week’s disaster over rebel-held Ukraine, in which 298 people died, are due to arrive in the Netherlands at 1400 GMT on Wednesday, where they will be met by relatives.

King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and Mr Rutte will also be present at Eindhoven airport for the arrival of the bodies, which will be marked by a minute’s silence, the statement from the justice ministry on Tuesday said.

Flags on public buildings around the country will fly at half mast, Mr Rutte said. Representatives of some of the 10 other nations whose citizens were killed in the crash will also be present.

Obama signs condolence book at Dutch embassy

President Barack Obama visited the Embassy of the Netherlands on Tuesday to pay his respects to the 193 Dutch nationals killed in the downing last week of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

Obama signed a condolence book at the embassy and offered a message to the Dutch.

“Obviously we are all heartbroken,” he told reporters, adding that he “extend[s] on behalf of all the American people our deepest condolences.”

The president added that he wanted to “express our solidarity with the people of the Netherlands” and will work with the Dutch “to make sure their loved ones are recovered and justice” is done.

UN adopts ‘full access’ resolution on MH17 crash site

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmerman came to New York to lobby for full access to the crash.

Speaking emotionally to Council members: “Since Thursday I’ve been thinking how horrible must it have been the final moments of their lives when they knew the plane is going down. Did they lock hands with their loved ones, did they hold their children close to their hearts… did they look each other in the eyes one last time in a wordless goodbye, we will never know.”

Timmerman says Dutch emotions had swiftly shifted from grief to anger. “The last couple of days we’ve received very disturbing reports of bodies being moved about and looted for their possessions. Just for one minute, I’m not addressing you as representatives of your countries but as husbands and wives, fathers and wives, just imagine that you first get the news that your husband was killed and then within two or three days you see images of some thug removing the wedding band from their hands, just imagine that this could be your spouse.”

Dutch Anger Swells at Treatment of Ukraine Bodies

It is no longer only grief and mourning sweeping across the Netherlands in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. It is now anger.

The Dutch have widely condemned the way the bodies of loved ones have been treated in Ukraine and the fact they have not yet been returned home, four days after Thursday’s tragedy.

It’s time for The Netherlands to man up to Russia

Dutch King Willem-Alexander Monday expressed his condolences and shared the grief of the relatives of the victims of the Malaysian plane crash in eastern Ukraine during a speech on national television and radio.

The king addressed the Dutch people after he and his wife Queen Maxima held a closed door meeting with relatives in Nieuwegein, a city in the province of Utrecht.

The disaster cost the lives of 193 Dutch citizens from all over the country.

We are deeply touched by the poignant personal stories, the king said in his address. 

Their grief, their desperation, their impotence and desperation cut through the soul. We understand the frustration and share your grief. And we share the fervent desire for clarity on the cause of this disaster, he said

We cannot make up for the victims… This scar will continue to be felt in the length of years. The only thing we can do is listen and support. All over the country people gather to support.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also attended the meeting and gave a statement afterwards. 

There is so much sorrow, Rutte said. I’ve spoken to people who have lost sometimes three, sometimes four people.

The Netherlands feels the anger and deep sorrow, Rutte concluded. The whole country stands behind the relatives.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Rebels take full control of plane crash bodies

Netherlands angered over reports of victims’ bodies decaying in the sun for days

Donetsk rebel leader Alexander Borodai said the bodies recovered from the crash site would remain in refrigerated train cars in the rebel-held town of Torez, 15 kilometres from the crash site, until the arrival of an international aviation delegation.

"The bodies will go nowhere until experts arrive," Borodai said, speaking in the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

Anger is growing in the Netherlands that bodies have not yet been repatriated and their loved ones are apparently being denied dignity in death.

A mother left devastated by the MH17 plane crash has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin “to send my children home”. Ms Fredriksz held up a photo of her son Bryce, 23, and his 20-year-old girlfriend Daisy as she pleaded for the return of their bodies. "I want to arrange their funeral. I can’t. I don’t know where they are. I want them back. I want my children back." Clenching their picture, she added: “Look at those people. How beautiful. They have to come back.

"Mr Putin - send my children home. Send them home. Please!"