Remains of Ukrainian Troops Killed in Plane Crash Returned to Ukraine

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Russian Military Plane Crash Causes Disagreement Over Prisoner Exchanges

According to Ukraine’s statement on Friday, the Russians have handed over the remains of 77 of their soldiers following a period of instability surrounding the fate of captive swaps. This unease arose from a Russian military aircraft crash which may have implications for such exchanges in the future. However, it was not clear if the most recent repatriation, which took place in the western Belgorod region of Russia, was related to the incident. This news comes from the source of Reader Wall.

Confusion Over Plane Crash

Moscow and Ukraine are embroiled in a controversy concerning the aforementioned plane, which Russia asserts was attacked and downed by Ukrainian forces near their shared boundary. This, according to Russia, resulted in the loss of numerous Ukrainian captives. Although the Kyiv authorities have not rebutted these allegations outright, they seem uncertain about whether the plane was carrying Ukrainian captives.

Preparations for Repatriation

Despite the tragic events, Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War affirms that “long-standing preparations for the repatriation” had been underway, separate from the incident. Considering the almost two years of warfare, numerous repatriation efforts have taken place, with multiple prisoner exchanges freeing many captives. Russia’s claims of Ukraine’s involvement in the plane crash, however, have introduced doubts about the continuation of such agreements.

Uncertainty Surrounds Crash Site

Ukraine continues to question Russia’s version of the circumstances surrounding the crash of the military transport plane, the Ilyushin 76. The Kremlin has denied the need to provide evidence that substantiates untimely death of many Ukrainian soldiers. In response to questions about the potential unveiling of evidence supporting accusations against Ukraine for shooting down the plane and the transportation of captives, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated: “Investigators are working, and I have nothing more to add.”

Accusations of Propaganda Campaign Against Ukraine

Earlier, Russia’s Investigative Committee released a video said to depict the crash site, complete with mangled plane debris and a human body. Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman, devolved the released materials from Moscow as “elements of an information propaganda campaign against Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is calling for an international investigation while both Kyiv and Moscow are at the leadership of their own criminal investigations into the matter. Volodymyr Zelensky has also reproached Moscow for “playing with the lives” of Ukrainian soldiers and their families.

The Unresolved Aftermath

Despite the ongoing dispute and unanswered questions surrounding the crash, Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement or whether the plane was carrying captive soldiers. The country did assert that a prisoner exchange was slated to occur on the day of the crash, but, unlike previous instances, it was not notified that the transfer would be conducted via plane.


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