08252014Headline:

Putin Must Apologize

Russian President Vladimir Putin says tragedies such as the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last week should “bring people together” rather than “dividing us.”

Putin issued the written statement a day after the United States outlined its case against Russia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had 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 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.”

In a statement from the South Lawn of the White House late Monday morning, Obama said he appreciates those words, “but they have to be supported by actions.”

Obama said Russia has a “direct responsibility” to compel rebels to cooperate.

“Our friends and allies need to be able to recover those who were lost,” Obama said. “Families deserve to be able to lay down their loved ones with dignity.”

If Russia continues to destabilize Ukraine, Obama said, it will further isolate itself from the international community.

USA Today reports that Dutch investigators arrived at the scene of the crash on Monday to begin their inspection of scores of bodies stored in a refrigerated rail car. All of the 298 passengers and crew onboard the Boeing 777 were killed.

Countries and families of the MH17 attack await an apology from Putin. It was Russian arms that likely brought down the aircraft. Putin should be held responsible.

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