HILVERSUM, Netherlands, July 23 (UPI) -- A Netherlands mayor suggested deporting the daughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin in protest of alleged Russian involvement in the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
Hilversum Mayor Pieter Broertjes, in a radio interview, called for expelling Maria Putin, 29, who leads an intensely private life away from media, and is believed to live in the Dutch city of Voorschoten with a boyfriend. There is no official photograph of her, or of her sister, Yekaterina.
Broertjes later apologized for the comments, saying on social media they were "not wise," but adding "they stemmed from a feeling of helplessness that many will recognize."
Of the 298 people aboard the commercial airliner, which crashed last week in eastern Ukraine after it was struck by an anti-aircraft missile, 193 were Dutch citizens. Broertjes' suggestion is indicative of the nation's frustration.
The Dutch government declared Wednesday a national day of mourning. The first group of victims were returned home Wednesday, at Eindhoven airport, and will be transported to a Hilversum army base.
There have been calls for a peaceful protest outside the apartment where Maria Putin is believed to live, the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf reported Monday, as it published a photograph of the apartment complex.