‘Flight MH17 crash probe resembles garden clean-up’

Abbott declines to comment on his discussion with Putin

SYDNEY – Australia's prime minister voiced deep concern on Monday that rebels remained in control of the crash site of a Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine, saying the site looked more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation.

At least 27 Australian passengers were among the 298 people aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, shot down over eastern Ukraine in an attack the West has blamed on separatist rebels. Speaking on a breakfast radio show, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that he had spoken overnight to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time about the disaster.

"He said all the right things and now we need him to be as good as his word,” Abbott told 2GB radio, declining to comment in detail about his discussion with Putin. US Secretary of State John Kerry also demanded Russia take responsibility for the actions of the rebels whom the US suspects of downing the jet with a missile.

He expressed disgust at their grotesque mishandling of the bodies. The Russian government denies any involvement in the disaster and has blamed the Ukrainian military for the disaster.

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