Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday slammed the “drunken” Ukrainian separatists who he said are moving the bodies from the Malaysian Airlines plane crash site.
“Today we have reports of drunken separatists piling the remains in an unceremonious fashion and actually removing them from the location,” Kerry said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“They are interfering with the evidence in the location. They have removed, we understand, some aeroplane parts,” he added.
Ukraine is currently embroiled in an armed conflict with pro-Russian insurgents, whom the Ukrainian government has accused of firing an anti-aircraft missile at the Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday and bringing it down. U.S. officials have directly said the Russian government has supplied these types of arms to the separatists and Kerry said on Sunday that Russia needs to pressure the separatists into providing crash site access to international investigators.
“This is a very, very critical moment for Russia to step up publicly and join in the effort in order to make sure there is a full-fledged investigation … so no one will have doubt. No fingers will be pointed about conspiracies, about ideology and politics governing this. We want the facts. And the fact that the separatists are controlling this … even as the site is tampered with makes its own statement of culpability and responsibility,” Kerry said.
Kerry also said he recently had a “tough” conversation with his counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, about the matter.
“It was a direct and tough conversation,” he said. “We’ll see if anything happens as a result of that.”