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Ombudsman: Some POWs from Russian list of Il-76 crash victims had already been exchanged

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 25, 2024 11:06 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Dmytro Lubinets attends the international conference of human rights commissioners âThe Future of Human Rights in the 21st Centuryâ in Ankara, Turkiye on January 12, 2023. (Muhammed Abdullah Kurtar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The list of prisoners of war claimed by Russian propagandists to have been on board the Il-76 aircraft that crashed on Jan. 24 includes those who had already been swapped before, Ukraine's chief Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets told Sky News on Jan. 25.

Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan shared the list of Ukrainian POWs who were allegedly on board the Il-76 aircraft on the evening of Jan 24, with Kyiv not confirming the claims and calling for an international investigation.

Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne analyzed the list and confirmed that most of the names were previously mentioned as being POWs or missing persons, and that some had appeared in captivity in Russian propaganda videos.

“We found Ukrainian citizens in the list who have already been previously exchanged," Lubinets said.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war were aboard the plane on its way for a prisoner exchange, as well as six crew members and three accompanying persons. Kyiv has not confirmed whether Ukrainian POWs were on the plane.

Ukraine's military intelligence agency said that a prisoner swap was indeed planned for Jan. 24, but it did not happen. The agency's spokesperson, Andrii Yusov, added that the claim about Ukrainian prisoners on board is "currently being verified.

According to Lubinets, photos and videos from the site of the Russian Il-76 aircraft crash do not indicate "any signs that there were such a large number of people on the plane."

President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine will demand an international investigation into the plane crash.

Ukraine war latest: Russia says Ukrainian POWs were in crashed II-76 aircraft, Kyiv calls for investigation
A Russian Il-76 transport aircraft allegedly carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war crashed in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24 at around 11 a.m. local time, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing the country’s Defense Ministry.

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