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The FBI and National Transportation Safety Board will send investigators to Ukraine to assist in the probe of the Malaysia Airlines downing, senior administration officials told NBC News on Friday. They will join a growing list of international investigators sifting through the wreckage to determine who and what brought down Flight MH17, a Boeing 777 jet, as it flew over a hostile region of eastern Ukraine on Thursday afternoon. U.S. officials believe a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called the incident an act of terrorism, and is blaming pro-Russian separatists for shooting down Flight MH17. But Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Ukraine must shoulder the responsibility for the jet’s destruction. “This tragedy would not have happened, if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations in southeastern Ukraine had not been renewed,” Putin said on television. Flight MH17, carrying 298 people on board, was flying from Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed.



— Kristen Welker and Jay Blackman