Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are willing to have a three-day cease-fire to allow for recovery work at the site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, RIA news reported. The cease-fire has not been confirmed, but the Russian news agency claims Ukrainian separatist leader Alexander Borodai told it discussions with Ukrainian authorities are already underway.
Russian authorities have also asked to help Ukraine with the recovery.
"The Russian emergency services sent an official request to our Ukrainian colleagues to carry out joint work at the crash site of a Boeing [plane] on Ukrainian territory," Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov told Russia's RIA news agency.
Meanwhile, the Department of Defense put out a statement Thursday regarding Russia’s increasing presence on the border. “We are concerned about the buildup we see along the Russia-Ukraine border,” Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said. “Overall, the increase in Russian presence along the Ukrainian border is concerning.” This came a day after both the U.S. and E.U. imposed the toughest sanctions yet on Russia, including one on Alexander Borodai.
So far, emergency services rescue workers say more than 100 bodies have been pulled from the wreckage of flight MH17. The Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was apparently shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people on board.