Putin: Tragedies Like MH17 Should 'Bring People Together'
Russian President Vladimir Putin says tragedies like the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 should "bring people together," rather than "dividing us."
Putin issued the written statement, a day after the United States outlined its case against Russia. As Scott reported, Secretary of State John Kerry said "it's pretty clear" the missile that downed the commercial jetliner came from "a system that was transferred from Russia."
Putin did not directly address those allegations, but he instead pointed the finger at the pro-Western government in Kiev.
"I believe that if military operations had not resumed in eastern Ukraine on June 28, this tragedy probably could have been avoided," Putin said, referring to the end of a 10-day-old cease-fire.
Putin also called for authorities in Ukraine to do everything possible to "ensure that international experts can work in safety at the crash site."
On that front, USA Today reports Dutch investigators arrived the scene of the crash on Monday to begin their inspection of scores of bodies stored in a refrigerated rail car.
USA Today adds:
"The arrival of the Dutch forensics experts came as the United Nations Security Council was preparing to vote on a resolution demanding international access to the site where Flight MH17 went down Thursday after being hit by a surface-to-air missile."Armed rebels. who control the area, had kept international inspectors at bay for days, prompting outrage from political leaders in The Netherlands and Australia, whose citizens were aboard the ill-fated jetliner."During the weekend, separatist groups began removing bodies and other evidence from the huge debris field."
The Guardian reports that the 15-member security council is set to vote on the Australian-drafted resolution on Monday.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, diplomats told the paper they were unsure if the final resolution would be supported by Russia.
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