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MH17 shot from pro-Russia rebel-controlled area: Obama

July 18, 2014 22:40 IST

MH17 shot from pro-Russia rebel-controlled area: Obama

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United States President Barack Obama on Friday called for an immediate ceasefire between Ukraine's Russia-backed separatists and the government there after a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down by a missile from rebel-held territory, killing 298 people on board.

Deeply disturbed by the death of people on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines' Flight MH 17, Obama sought a credible international investigation into the incident.

He said the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

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Image: US President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the situation in Ukraine during a news conference at the White House in Washington
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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'Russia and Ukraine must enter into ceasefire immediately'

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Calling it a global tragedy in remarks from the White House, the US President lashed out at Russia for continuing to back Ukrainian separatist destabilising the situation in Ukraine. He said that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have received a "steady flow" of arms and training from Russia, including anti-aircraft weapons. He called for a "credible international investigation" into the shooting down of the plane.

"Russia and Ukraine must enter into ceasefire immediately. Russia has failed to de-escalate the situation in east Ukraine," he said.  

The plane was shot down near the border between Ukraine and Russia. The incident occurred one day after Obama announced broader economic sanctions against Russia for its threatening moves in Ukraine.

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Image: A woman lights candles at a memorial for victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Kuala Lumpur
Photographs: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

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'Rebels receives arms and training from Russia'

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Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin must act to rein in Ukraine separatists. “Putin has the most control over the violent situation in Ukraine,” he said.

"Different actions" from Russia are needed to show they are willing to work with the Ukrainian government to arrive at a ceasefire and a peace in Ukraine.  

"This certainly will be a wake-up call for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine. It is not going to be localised, it is not going to be contained," he added.

He confirmed that one American was among the dead.

With inputs from PTI


Image: Wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday
Photographs: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

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