Monday, July 21, 2014

Obama Denounces Russia and Separatists for Obstructing Crash Site

By PETER BAKER, NYT
JULY 21, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday sternly denounced Russia and the separatists it supports in Ukraine for blocking access to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last week, declaring that “time is of the essence” to recover bodies and evidence.

Four days after the passenger jet was shot down by what American officials have called a Russian-made and supplied antiaircraft missile, Mr. Obama tried to raise the pressure on the Kremlin as the bodies of nearly 300 passengers and crew remain in limbo amid conflict over the crash scene.

Mr. Obama, speaking at the White House, said pro-Russian separatists have blocked investigators from the scene, fired their guns in the air, removed physical evidence and delayed or impeded the collection of the bodies. “All of which begs the question: what exactly are they trying to hide?” he asked.

He added that in some cases bodies have been removed from the scene by separatists without due respect. “It’s the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations,” Mr. Obama said.

(More here.)

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