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Putin: Russia will facilitate plane investigation

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Posted: Jul 22, 2014 4:06 AM by Hunter Robinson
Updated: Jul 22, 2014 7:52 AM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: train, crash, Malaysia, Airlines, Ukraine, Kharkiv, victims, remains, Netherlands

MOSCOW, Russia - President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do "everything in its power" to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash, but accused Kiev and the West of escalating the conflict in the region.

During a meeting with Russia's Security Council on Tuesday, Putin said Russia was willing to put pressure on the rebels, but that "that was not enough" to resolve the situation.

He condemned Kiev for continuing to shell parts of the region, asserting that international observers on the scene could "barely stick their heads out" because of safety concerns.

Putin also lashed out at the West, accusing NATO of bolstering its forces across eastern Europe.

The Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

A train bearing the remains of people who died in the crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday on their way to the Netherlands.

An AP reporter saw the train Tuesday as it pulled into a train station in Kharkiv, where Ukrainian authorities have set up their crash investigation center.

For many, it is the next stop on their journey home to the Netherlands. Of the 298 who died, 193 were Dutch citizens.

Oleksander Kharchenko, spokesman for the state committee on the crash, said "we will do our best" to send the bodies to the Netherlands on Tuesday. Ukraine has agreed to send remains of all the victims there for identification and forensic investigation.

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