MH17 coffin
Guards load a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern UkraineReuters

The hashtag #bringthemhome is trending on social media and thousands have changed their profile pictures to black squares to pay tribute to the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

The trend began as a protest for all of the bodies of victims to be repatriated as soon as possible, and the hashtag has been used across the world, namely in the Netherlands, the UK, the US and Australia.

A day of mourning will be held in the Netherlands for the 298 passengers killed, 198 of whom were Dutch, when the Boeing 777-200 was reportedly shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

The social media campaign is trending as the first bodies recovered from the crash site in the conflict-hit region of Donetsk are to be flown to the Netherlands for identification.

They will be met by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the relatives of the victims at 4pm local time at Eindhoven Airport. The bodies will then be taken to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks to be identified.

An unconfirmed number of bodies were released by the pro-Russian rebels and taken to the government-controlled city of Kharkiv in a refrigerated train carriage.

Mr Rutte stated the train had arrived in Kharkiv at 10.30am, but warned that identifying the bodies could take "weeks or months".

The Dutch are leading the investigation into what happened to the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight, at the request of the Ukrainian government.

In a separate process, the "black box" flight recorders destined for Britain have arrived at Farnborough in Hampshire, where the equipment will be analysed by investigators.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will now go through the information from the cockpit voice recorder which will give them two hours of pilots' conversations as well as studying the contents of the flight data recorder.

The team will be able to send their findings to the Dutch within 24 hours.

Meanwhile, US intelligence officials say pro-Russian separatists shot down the aircraft by accident, but have no yet found any direct link to Russia.

MH17 crashed near the hamlet of Grabove in eastern Ukraine, a rebel-held area. The rebels have been accused of tampering with evidence and providing inaccurate information about the bodies received, as well as hindering investigators.