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Russia says it's ready to transfer bodies of POWs killed in Il-76 plane crash

by Olena Goncharova March 1, 2024 6:26 AM 2 min read
Archive photo. An Ilyushin Il-76 seen above Moscow, Russia on May 9, 2021. (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia is ready to hand over to Ukraine the bodies of those killed in an Il-76 plane crash on Jan. 24, Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti reported on March 1 citing the country's human rights official.

Russia has alleged that its military aircraft that crashed in Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24 was destroyed by Ukrainian forces and that it was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners. The Kremlin has yet to provide evidence that there were any POWs on the downed plane. Ukrainian officials did reveal that a prisoner exchange had been planned for that day.

"Yes, we are ready," Russian human rights official Tatyana Moskalkova was quoted as saying. "The bodies can be transferred according to the procedures that are in place."

Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov said in an interview published in early February that there were no Ukrainian prisoners of war on the downed transport plane.

President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an international investigation into the Il-76 crash.

Unnamed American officials told the New York Times on Feb. 8 that the American-made Patriot missile system was likely responsible for the Russian Il-76 plane crash. Additionally, officials suggested that the plane likely had at least some Ukrainian prisoners onboard.

They mourned loss of apartment. Then, Russia destroyed their whole city
Olha Pankova, 39, had hoped to spend the rest of her life in Avdiivka. She had built a lovely home for herself and her children and wanted to grow old in the small Donetsk Oblast town, once home to almost 30,000 residents. But that was before Russia turned her
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