A closed desk of Malaysian airlines is seen at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. A Ukrainian official said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down as it flew over the country and plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)

Moscow - Russia asked Kiev on Thursday for permission to help with rescue work in eastern Ukraine after a Malaysian passenger airliner was brought down there, the Emergencies Ministry said.

“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.