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Russian propagandist lists POWs allegedly killed in plane crash, Ukraine hasn't confirmed

by Nate Ostiller January 24, 2024 6:16 PM 1 min read
Illustrative photo of an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft at the Chkalovsky Military Airport outside Moscow, Russia, on March 22, 2020. (Russian Ministry of Defense / Alexey Ereshko / Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: This is a developing story.

Russian propagandist Margarita Simonyan published a list of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) allegedly killed in the Russian Il-76 transport plane that crashed in Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24, but Ukrainian authorities have not verified the news.  

The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti confirmed the plane crash earlier, citing the country's Defense Ministry.

The Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne analyzed the list that Simonyan shared 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.

Suspilne could not confirm that those on the list were actually on the plane when it crashed, nor that they were potentially part of a prisoner exchange.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed earlier that 65 captured military Ukrainian personnel were aboard the plane on its way for a prisoner exchange, as well as six crew members and three accompanying people.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify these claims. The Ukrainian military did not immediately respond to the Kyiv Independent's request for comment.

Russia says Ukrainian POWs on crashed Il-76, claim not verified by Ukraine
A Russian Il-76 transport aircraft 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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