TOREZ, Ukraine -- Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site.
The United States, meanwhile, presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile and training. Although other governments have stopped short of accusing Russia of actually causing the crash, the U.S. was ahead of most in pointing blame on Moscow for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed all 298 people aboard.
"Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists," Secretary of State John Kerry said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Meanwhile, Australia's foreign minister said an urgent vote could take place as early as today in the U.N. Security Council on a resolution demanding international access to the Ukraine plane crash site. Julie Bishop told reporters in Washington on Sunday she expects all 15 council members to fully support Australia's proposal. The resolution calls for pro-Russia separatists to allow international access to the crash site and asks for the full cooperation of all countries in the region, including Russia.
Leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Australia spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone late Sunday, urging him to use his influence on the separatists to ensure the victims could be repatriated and international investigators could have full access to collect evidence. They said European foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels Tuesday to consider further sanctions on Russia.
More than three days after the jetliner crashed, international investigators still had only limited access to the sprawling fields where the plane fell.
U.N. Security Council diplomats tweeted Sunday that the council would vote Monday afternoon on a draft resolution co-sponsored by Australia, France and Lithuania that would call for full access to the crash site and an independent investigation.
"Investigators must have immediate full access to MH17 crash site, & bodies treated with dignity," British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant tweeted.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a blistering opinion piece for the Sunday Times, said "the growing weight of evidence" suggests the rebels shot down the plane, and if that is so, "this is a direct result of Russia destabilizing a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias and training and arming them."
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country lost 28 citizens in the tragedy, said Putin "said all the right things" during their telephone conversation about ensuring an international investigation into the disaster.
"I'm now going to try to ensure that as far as Australia humanly can, we insist upon these things happening," Abbott told Sydney Radio 2GB on Monday. "The site is being treated more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation, and this is completely unacceptable."
Russian officials have blamed Ukraine's government for creating the situation and atmosphere in which the plane was downed, but has yet to directly address the allegations that the separatists were responsible or were operating with technical assistance from Moscow.
The 42-square-mile crash site, spread out on farmland and villages, looked dramatically different Sunday, a day after armed rebels had stood guard while dozens of bodies lay in the summer heat. The rebels were gone, and 192 bodies were loaded into the refrigerated train cars in the rebel-held town of Torez, nine miles away.
The Ukrainian government said in a statement on its website that a second train with four refrigerator cars had arrived at Torez station.
Emergency workers, who the rebels have allowed to operate under their control, were searching the sprawling fields. Cranes moved pieces of the plane around, apparently to look for more bodies underneath.
By Sunday night, Ukraine's emergency services agency said the total number of bodies found was 251, with dozens of body parts.
Kerry expressed outrage at the "grotesque" behavior of the rebels at the crash scene.
"Drunken separatists are stacking bodies into the back of trucks, removing materials from the site," he told ABC's "This Week." "On Friday, we had 75 minutes of access to the site; on Saturday, three hours of access. This is an insult to everybody.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continued to build a case that pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine were responsible for the missile firing that downed the airliner. Some of the evidence incudes: video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site; imagery showing the firing; calls claiming credit for the strike; and recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.
"A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence ... it's powerful here," said Kerry, a former prosecutor, and it holds the rebels responsible for shooting down the airliner, with the Kremlin complicit in the deaths of nearly 300 passengers and crew members.
"This is the moment of truth for Russia," said Kerry, leveling some of Washington's harshest criticism of Moscow since the crisis in Ukraine began.
"Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists, and Russia has not yet done the things necessary in order to try to bring them under control," he said.
In a round of television interviews, Kerry cited a mix of U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence and social media reports that he said "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists" for firing the missile that brought the plane down, killing nearly 300 passengers and crew.
"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists," he said.
Video of an SA-11 launcher, with one of its missiles missing and leaving the likely launch site, has been authenticated, he said.
An Associated Press journalist saw a missile launcher in rebel-held territory close to the crash site just hours before the plane was brought down Thursday.
"There's a buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence," Kerry said. "We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know from voice identification that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterward."
In one set of calls, said by Ukrainian security services to have been recorded shortly after the plane was hit, a prominent rebel commander, Igor Bezler, tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.
Shortly before Kerry's television appearances, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, released a statement saying experts had authenticated the calls.
"Audio data provided to the press by the Ukrainian security service was evaluated by intelligence community analysts who confirmed these were authentic conversations between known separatist leaders, based on comparing the Ukraine-released internet audio to recordings of known separatists," the statement said.
A new set of recordings apparently made Friday also appears to implicate rebels in an attempted cover-up at the crash site.
In one exchange, a man identified as the leader of the rebel Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky states that two recording devices are being held by the head of intelligence of the insurgency's military commander. The commander is then heard to order the militiaman to ensure no outsiders, including an international observation team near the crash site at the reported time of the call, get hold of any material.
The man identified as Khodakovsky says he is pursuing inquiries about the black boxes under instructions from "our high-placed friends ... in Moscow."
In another conversation with a rebel representative at the crash site who reports finding an orange box marked as a satellite navigation box, Khodakovsky is purported to order that the object be hidden.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country lost 192 citizens on the plane, told a news conference that repatriating the bodies was his "No. 1 priority."
He said all efforts were aimed at getting the train with the bodies to "territory controlled by Ukraine," adding that a Dutch military plane was being sent to Kharkiv to set up a coordination center.
Michael Bociurkiw, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said reports from the group's investigators in Ukraine suggest some bodies were incinerated without a trace.
"We're looking at the field where the engines have come down. This was the area which was exposed to the most intense heat. We do not see any bodies here. It appears that some have been vaporized," he said from the crash site.
Rebel leader Alexander Borodai denied the rebels were trying to tamper with evidence, saying the bodies would be turned over to a team of Malaysian experts he was expecting.
A group of investigators that included Malaysian officials was in Kiev, but said they wouldn't go into rebel-held areas until they get better assurances about security. The Ukrainian government, which has responsibility for the investigation, has also asked for help from the International Civil Aviation Organization -- a U.N. body -- and Eurocontrol, a European air traffic safety organization.
Borodai insisted the rebels have not interfered with the investigation, and said he would turn over the plane's flight data and cockpit voice recorders, or "black boxes," as well.
"The bodies will go nowhere until experts arrive," Borodai said in the rebel-held city of Donetsk.
But it was clear that the rebels were interfering in the investigation.
Lyubov Kudryavets, a worker at the Torez morgue, said that on the evening the plane went down, a resident brought in the bloodied body of a child, about 7 or 8 years old. On Saturday, militiamen came to take away the body away, she said.
"They began to question me: 'Where are the fragments of rocket? Where are the fragments from the plane?"' Kudryavets said. "But I didn't have any wreckage. ... I swear."
Experts said that even if investigators are granted access now, it might be too late.
"Even without any deliberate attempt at a cover-up, the crash site is already compromised in forensic terms," said Keir Giles, an associate fellow at the Chatham House think tank. "A reconstruction of the aircraft fuselage and wings would give a picture on how the missile struck and what kind it was. If any aircraft parts have already been removed ... this compromises the objectivity of the investigation."
On the diplomatic front, Western leaders stepped up the pressure on Putin. The leaders of France, Germany and Britain issued a joint statement demanding that he force the separatists to "finally allow rescuers and investigators to have free and total access to the zone."
Rutte said the Dutch foreign minister was headed to the U.N. to lobby "to further expand the international coalition pushing for quick recovery of the bodies and getting to the bottom of the terrible events on MH17."
In the Netherlands, worshippers at church services prayed for the victims, as anger grew over the rebels' hindering of the investigation.
Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son, Bryce, and his girlfriend, Daisy Oehlers, were among those killed, said she was appalled their bodies weren't being handed over.
"Mr. Putin, send my children home," she said, speaking on Sky TV from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. "Send them home. Please."