Espreso. Global

Russia signals readiness to hand over bodies of POWs from IL-76: Ukrainian military intelligence responds

2 March, 2024 Saturday
19:06

The representative of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine Andrii Yusov reacted to Russia's statement about readiness to hand over the bodies of the victims of the IL-76 aircraft

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Yusov said this in a telethon.

"Different versions are being checked. If people died on board, there were requests for the return of the bodies. The wording that Moscow is ready to hand over the bodies is quite strange. When the transfer takes place, the necessary expertise is carried out, the number and circumstances are studied, and not a statement of readiness, then it will be possible to comment on something," the intelligence official said.

According to him, Ukraine is conducting its own investigation and has requested an international investigation, which Russia has rejected.

He also added that for a long time, the Russians did not show the remains of the plane or the full picture, including the bodies. At the same time, there may have been weapons on board, but whether there were people with the weapons is to be determined.

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.

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