Speaking at a press conference on Friday, President Obama addressed the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine. The president declared that “the deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” “At least” one American citizen was aboard, Obama said: Quinn Lucas Schansman. The Netherlands lost 189 people, the most of any country. “Today I want the Dutch people to know we stand with you shoulder to shoulder,” he said. Then Obama turned to the subject the world was waiting for—who was responsible. “Here’s what we know,” he said. “Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down” from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists. He pointed out this was not the first time a plane has been shot down over eastern Ukraine and that “moreover, we know these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia.” (He said it was too early to guess the intentions of those who shot it down.) He also said that as the victims were from countries all over the world, “There has to be a credible international investigation into what happened.” In addition, Russia, pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine “must adhere to an immediate ceasefire.” The president said he spoke frankly to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call, telling him that “time and time again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary” for peace.
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