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Policy: National Security

VIDEO: Lawmakers condemn handling of Malaysia Airlines crash site

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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday condemned the handling of the Malaysia Airlines crash site and the ongoing violence in the Eastern Ukraine region surrounding it.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing to discuss the tragedy and the next steps moving forward.

"It's essential that a full and transparent international investigation being immediately," Rep. Bill Keating, D-Mass., said. "The facts of this crime must be established and the perpetrators must be brought to justice."

Since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 12, reports of looting and limited access to the crash site by international investigators have run rampant.

The unstable Eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk, where the flight ultimately crashed, is being held by Pro-Russian separatists who are believed to have shot down the Boeing 777.

Many in Congress accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of encouraging the fighting in the region and not taking any responsibility for the tragedy and the aftermath.

"The lack of strong response to Putin's aggression has only really encourage him to be more aggressive," said Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

"We owe it to the victims of MH-17 and to the people of Ukraine to press Mr. Putin to put an end to his bitter and wholly unnecessary proxy war," said Keating.

Some on Capitol Hill are appealing to the humanitarian sides of Russia and Ukraine — calling for peace in the region.

"The MH-17 shoot down should be a turning point for all sides," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.

Fighting between the two neighboring countries began earlier this year, and the Flight 17 tragedy brought the conflict back into focus.

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