WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry didn't hold back Sunday in his criticism of the crash site cleanup for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down in eastern Ukraine Thursday. Pro-Russian separatists in the area have reportedly removed nearly 200 bodies and denied access to international investigators.
"Drunken -- I mean literally, drunken -- separatist soldiers are piling bodies into trucks unceremoniously and disturbing the evidence," Kerry said on "Fox News Sunday."
"Airplane parts have been removed," Kerry continued. "We need full access and this is a moment of truth for Russia. Some of the leaders of the separatists are Russians. Russia arms these separatists. Russia trains these separatists. Russia supports these separatists. Russia has refused to call on them publicly to do the things that need to be done."
A rebel leader said Sunday that recovered bodies have been loaded into refrigerated train cars for holding until an international aviation delegation arrives.
Fox host Chris Wallace pressed Kerry on whether President Barack Obama's administration would impose tougher penalties on Russia or increase military assistance to Ukraine, since Kerry and other officials have strongly implied that Russian President Vladimir Putin bears blame for the tragedy. The Pentagon has said that Russians likely helped the separatists in eastern Ukrainian obtain and operate the missile system that allegedly shot down the plane.
"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia," Kerry said in an interview on CNN.
He said additional sanctions are possible.
"We're currently in discussions with our European allies precisely with respect to what the next steps will be," Kerry said. "And rather than shoot from the hip, the president is going to do this in a thoughtful way where it's one day, two days later. We're just gathering more facts. And I think it takes facts for responsible leadership. So that's exactly what we're doing."