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/ Source: Reuters

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a "thorough and unbiased" investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Friday. In a phone call with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Putin also offered his condolences. The majority of the 298 people killed on the plane on Thursday were Dutch citizens.

"The head of the Russian state underlined that the tragedy yet again highlighted the need for the swiftest peaceful solution to the acute crisis in Ukraine and noted that a thorough and unbiased investigation into all the circumstances of the air catastrophe was needed," the Kremlin said. The Boeing 777 passenger plane came down in area near the Russian border close to the city of Donetsk, where Ukraine's army is fighting a pro-Russian separatist rebellion. Kiev accuses pro-Moscow separatists of shooting down the airliner with help from Russian intelligence representatives. Putin put the blame on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who refused to extend a shaky cease-fire with the rebels.

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- Reuters