Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses sorrow for the downed jetliner and blames the conflict in Ukraine. Nathan Frandino reports.
With the ruins of the Malaysian Airliner still smoldering in eastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expressing his sorrow for the loss. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We, on behalf of the Russian authorities and on behalf of the government of the Russian Federation, express condolences to the bereaved families and to the governments of those countries whose nationals were on that plane. I ask you to honor their memory." In a meeting with his top economic advisers, Putin called for a moment of silence for the 295 people killed aboard the plane - which was brought down Thursday. Ukraine has accused pro-Moscow militants, aided by Russian military intelligence officers, of shooting down the plane. Putin, meanwhile, did not say who specifically was responsible but did blame the region's military conflict in general. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "In this regard, I want to emphasize that this tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on that land, and in any case, if the military activities had not resumed in the southeast of Ukraine." Putin said that Russia would "provide all necessary assistance in the investigation."