Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a cease-fire in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine to investigate the downed Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on Friday, according to Reuters.
“Direct talks between the opposing sides must be established as soon as possible,” Putin said. “All sides in the conflict must swiftly halt fighting and begin peace negotiations.”
The move comes after the plane was downed Thursday, killing 298 passengers in the process. The flight was on the way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur when Ukrainian separatists using weapons supplied by Russia for the ongoing civil war allegedly shot the plane down possibly thinking it was a military transport plane.
A group of 30 staffers from the Organization for the Security and Co-operation of Europe (OSCE) arrived at the scene Friday to investigate the crash site, according to the BBC. The OSCE said in a statement that the separatists said they were committed to providing “safe access and security guarantees to the national investigation commission, including international investigators, in the area under their control.”
The separatists allegedly took black boxes from the planes immediately following the crash. However, Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Borodai denied those reports.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials released audio of three intercepted phone calls with separatists discussing the tragedy to The New York Times. The separatists express disbelief in the first two calls until Cossack commander Nikolay Kozitsin blames the crash on the pilots of the plane for flying over a war zone.
“That means they were carrying spies,” Kozitsin said in response to there being no munitions on the flight. “[Expletive] them, got it?”
“They shouldn’t be [expletive] flying,” he continued. “There is a war going on.”
And unidentified militant simply replied with, “Got it.”