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Kremlin ‘faked’ deaths of Prisoners of War in Plane crash — Ukraine



Kremlin 'faked' deaths of Prisoners of War in Plane crash -- Ukraine

In a tense international development, Ukrainian authorities have dismissed assertions from the Kremlin that 65 prisoners of war (POWs) lost their lives when a Russian transport plane was allegedly shot down.

Ukrainian officials are accusing Russia of fabricating the tragic incident as a propaganda maneuver, asserting that the aircraft was empty at the time of the alleged attack.

Mail Online reports that Western security officials share the suspicions raised by Ukrainian authorities regarding the accuracy of passenger manifests provided by Moscow. One critical aspect of doubt revolves around the publication of these purported passenger lists.

The content of video footage capturing the crash site in western Russia has also come under scrutiny.

The footage revealed a limited amount of human remains, raising questions about the validity of Russia’s claims regarding the number of individuals aboard the downed Ilyushin II-76 aircraft.

Shortly after the crash on Wednesday, Russian media outlets disseminated lists of individuals supposedly on the plane, including both POWs and crew members.

However, Ukraine contends that some of those listed had previously been repatriated through POW exchanges.

Contrary to Kremlin assertions that over 70 people were on board the aircraft, a video released by Russia’s Investigative Committee displayed a wreckage site with only a block of twisted metal and wires, along with human remains believed to be from one or two individuals.

Ukrainian human rights commissioner Dmytro Lubinets expressed disbelief, stating,

“We found Ukrainian citizens on the list who have already been exchanged.”

He also highlighted the absence of photographic or video evidence of POWs at the crash site, suggesting that Russia would have promptly shared such evidence if it existed.

Lubinets called for international organizations, including the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to be granted access to inspect the crash site.

While the ICRC described the reports of the crash as “worrisome,” it refrained from making speculations until facts are established.

The Ilyushin II-76 aircraft, allegedly involved in the incident, has raised additional concerns, as it was reported to have been previously used for delivering Iranian missiles.

Ukrainian military spokesperson Andriy Yusov claimed that Russian emergency workers were prohibited from inspecting the crash site near Yablonovo, with only five bodies recovered from the wreckage.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for an independent investigation into the incident, seeking clarity amid the conflicting narratives from Ukraine and Russia.