Hundreds of Malaysians demonstrated outside the Russian and Ukrainian embassies in Kuala Lumpur yesterday demanding justice over a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down over rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine.
Clad in black and shouting "justice", many protesters labelled the incident, which caused the death of all 298 people on board, an "act of mass murder".
The rally was organised by the youth wing of United Malays National Organisation, Malaysia's largest political party, and was the first major expression of public outrage in the country over the tragedy of MH17, which was shot down in the Donetsk region last Thursday.
While Western governments have put the blame squarely on Russia, Malaysia has stuck to a more neutral stance.
Chris Wong, from the Malaysian Chinese Association, said the rally was not meant to implicate Russia. "We are here not to accuse anyone but to seek justice over what actually happened to the plane," he said.
Earlier, the Russian ambassador, Lyudmila Vorobyeva, reiterated that Russia had nothing to do with the plane crash and pointed the finger at Ukraine.
"The rebels do not possess any defence systems that are capable of shooting a plane at the altitude of 10,000km. They do not have this kind of system. Russia never supplies this kind of system," she said.
Meanwhile, family members of Malaysians who were aboard MH17 have given blood samples to government health officials and police forensic experts. These are to be sent to Amsterdam to help experts identify the remains and bodies. There were 43 Malaysians aboard.
Kyodo, Associated Press