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Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukraine, rebels argue over wreckage, Germany says Putin has "last chance"

Published on Jul 19, 2014 9:12 PM
 
Russia's President Vladimir Putin looks on while speaking with journalists in Itamaraty Palace in Brazilia, early on July 17, 2014. Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday, July 19, 2014, of destroying evidence of "international crimes" as guerrillas and foreign observers faced off over access to the wreckage of the downed Malaysian airliner. -- PHOTO: AFP

HRABOVE/DONETSK, Ukraine (REUTERS) - Ukraine accused Russia and pro-Moscow rebels on Saturday of destroying evidence of "international crimes" as guerrillas and foreign observers faced off over access to the wreckage of the downed Malaysian airliner.

As Kiev raised the stakes by saying it had evidence that a Russian fired the missile widely assumed to have killed all 298 aboard on Thursday, a separatist leader blamed Ukraine for the delay and called on Moscow to help in recovering bodies starting to rot after two days in baking summer heat on the steppe.

Russia urged both sides to open access to foreign experts.

After President Barack Obama called the loss of flight MH17 a "wake-up call" to Europe to join the United States in threatening Moscow with heavier economic sanctions if it does not help end the conflict, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to use his influence with the rebels to ensure an urgent ceasefire. "Moscow may have a last chance now to show that it really is seriously interested in a solution," Merkel's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "Now is the moment for everyone to stop and think to themselves what might happen if we don't stop the escalation."

 
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