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Ukraine requests repatriation of bodies of those allegedly killed on board of Il-76, but Russia does not respond

Published:

Andrii Yusov, a representative of Defence Intelligence, has said that Ukraine has turned to Russia to bring back the bodies of prisoners of war who, according to Moscow propagandists, were on board the downed Il-76 aircraft, but Russia is not responding.

Source: Yusov on the national joint 24/7 newscast

Details: Yusov said that the exchange of prisoners of war on January 31 was “almost the end” of the disrupted operation on the day of the Il-76 incident. He said that, as part of the exchange, Ukrainians who were supposed to be exchanged on January 24 came home.

With the exception of 65 people from the list published by Kremlin-controlled Russian propagandists.

Quote: “Regarding the information about the deaths, Ukraine has applied and continues to apply for the transfer of bodies. So far, the Russian side has not agreed to this.

Therefore, our state’s demand for an impartial international investigation into not only the circumstances of the downing of the Il-76 remains relevant, but also to find out what was actually inside — whether there were people or ammunition, who were there besides the crew. So far, Russia has not confirmed the process of an international open investigation.”

Background:

  • A Russian Il-76 aircraft crashed in the Korocha district of Russia’s Belgorod Oblast. Sources in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated the plane was carrying S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. The Russian Defence Ministry said the plane was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war to Belgorod for a swap. According to the Russian Ministry of Defence, two Ukrainian missiles were “fired”, killing 74 people, including 65 Ukrainian POWs.

  • Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan published a list of the Ukrainian prisoners of war who she alleges were on board the Il-76 aircraft that crashed. Only the names of the six dead crew members are known to the media.

  • Defence Intelligence of Ukraine confirmed that the swap scheduled for 24 January did not take place, but they had no information about the Ukrainian prisoners on board the Il-76. In the previous swap, prisoners had been delivered by plane, but Ukraine had been made aware of that in advance.

  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said, without mentioning the Il-76, that it was taking all measures to protect Ukraine and Ukrainians.

  • Andrii Yusov said that Russian officials were supposed to be on board the Il-76, but at the last minute, the FSB forbade them to board. He said only five bodies were delivered to the local morgue after the incident. Yusov also suggested that the plane could have been carrying both missiles and people.

  • Russia has not provided the UN Security Council with any evidence that there were Ukrainian prisoners of war on board the Il-76 military transport plane that recently crashed in Belgorod Oblast and has rejected a request for an international commission to investigate what happened near Belgorod on 24 January.

  • Ukrainian Parliamentary Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets said there is no reason to believe that there were Ukrainian prisoners of war on board the Russian Il-76 plane that crashed near Belgorod on 24 January; Russia is not allowing international experts to investigate and can continue to accuse Ukraine of causing the deaths of Ukrainians without proof.

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