Russia ignores Ukraine's requests to hand over bodies of POWs allegedly killed in IL-76 crash
Ukraine has appealed to Russia to return the bodies of captives who allegedly died as a result of the crash of the IL-76 aircraft, but Russia does not respond to requests
Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, told Suspilne.
According to him, as part of the exchange, Ukrainians who were to be exchanged on January 24 returned home on 31 January, except for 65 people who were allegedly on board the downed plane.
Yusov noted that in Ukraine, the status of these 65 soldiers, whom the Russians declared dead, has not changed - they are considered prisoners of war, so Kyiv is requesting their return.
Crash of the Russian military transport aircraft IL-76
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.
On January 31, Russian leader Vladimir Putin said the IL-76 military transport aircraft was shot down by the US Patriot system and promised to allow international experts to investigate.