Sign up for the Essential California newsletter to get great stories delivered to your inbox
Nation National Politics Politics Now

Obama demands Russia force separatists to aid Malaysia Airlines probe

Obama to Putin: Force Ukrainian separatists to cooperate with Malaysia Airlines crash probe

President Obama accused pro-Russia separatists of tampering with evidence at the site of last week’s crash of a Malaysia Airlines jet and called on Russia to use its influence to ensure a credible investigation into the downing of the plane over eastern Ukraine.

“We have to make sure that the truth is out and that accountability exists,” Obama said Monday outside the White House. “What exactly are they trying to hide?”

Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, have a “direct responsibility to compel” Russia-backed separatist groups to cooperate with international investigators, he said.

Obama’s remarks came after Putin, in a video posted Monday on the Kremlin’s official website, said “everything should be done” to ensure a thorough and credible investigation but did not clarify how Russia would work to achieve that. 

Obama said Moscow can ensure that international experts are able to conduct the “solemn and sacred work” of recovering the remains of the 298 people killed in the crash.

"Our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost,” he said. "That's the least that decency demands."

U.S. officials believe the commercial airliner was downed by an antiaircraft missile system probably supplied to the separatists by Moscow. Putin on Monday placed the blame for the tragedy on the Ukrainian government.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times


8:35 a.m.: This post was updated with President Obama's remarks.

This post was originally published at 8:18 a.m.


Related Content
  • Ukraine prime minister: 'Russia is on the dark side'

    Ukraine prime minister: 'Russia is on the dark side'

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk had harsh words for Russia and President Vladimir‎ Putin on Monday, saying the country is "on the dark side," blaming it again for the downing  of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and demanding that it close its Western border to halt separatist activity in...

  • If NSA surveillance program ends, phone record trove will endure

    If NSA surveillance program ends, phone record trove will endure

    The National Security Agency will mothball its mammoth archive of Americans' telephone records, isolating the computer servers where they are stored and blocking investigators' access, but will not destroy the database if its legal authority to collect the material expires on schedule this Sunday,...