Espreso. Global

IL-76 crash: Russia says it's willing to return bodies to Ukraine; Ukraine responds

1 March, 2024 Friday
12:25

Russia has announced that it is allegedly ready to hand over to Ukraine the bodies of those killed in the crash of an Il-76 military plane in the Belgorod region

Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova made the statement, RIA Novosti reports.

"Yes, we are ready, we have everything we need in terms of procedure... The bodies can be transferred in accordance with existing procedures," she said.

At the same time, according to her, Moskalkova is in contact with the Ukrainian Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets: "We are in touch with the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets, he initially contacted me with questions regarding the disaster and received all the answers."

Ukrainian Ombudsman's response

The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said that Ukraine demands a transparent investigation, access to the crash site, as well as official lists and repatriation of bodies from the first day and relevant examinations if confirmed.

"Once again, the Russian side is starting to speculate on the downing of IL-76. But so far, at my request, Russia has not handed over official lists, confirmed the fact, or granted international organizations access to the tragedy site," he wrote.

What is known about the crash of the IL-76 in Russia

On January 24, a Russian military transport aircraft IL-76 crashed in the Belgorod region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that the ship allegedly carried Ukrainian prisoners of war who were being transported to the Belgorod region for exchange.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia had requested an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council because of the downing of the plane, which Moscow accused Ukraine of shooting down. France rejected the request.

The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate confirmed that a prisoner exchange was to take place on January 24. The intelligence noted that it currently does not have reliable and comprehensive information about who was on board the plane and in what quantity.

White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby said that the United States cannot confirm the presence of Ukrainian prisoners of war in the Russian Il-76.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he will insist on an international investigation into the downing of the IL-76 military transport aircraft in Russia.

On January 30, Ukrainian intelligence said that Russia refuses to hand over the bodies of prisoners who allegedly died in the IL-76.

Meanwhile, Russian President Putin said that the Il-76 military transport plane was shot down by a Patriot system and promised to allow international experts to investigate.

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