The Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmitro Lubinetstoday made an official request to the Red Cross to know if it was informed by the Russian Government that Ukrainian prisoners were to be transported in the military plane which crashed on the 24th in a border area with Ukraine of the Russian Federation.
Moscow assures that 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were going to be exchanged that same day died in the accident along with three Russian soldiers who were guarding them and six members of the crew. According to the Russian version, the plane was shot down by missiles fired by Ukraine, which has neither confirmed nor denied this claim.
“I want to receive an official response from the International Committee of the Red Cross on whether the Russian Federation reported that it would transport Ukrainian prisoners of war in this or another way,” Lubinets told the Ukrainian service of Radio Freedom.
The kyiv ombudsman noted that the parties involved in the prisoner exchanges are legally obliged to inform the Red Cross how they are transferred to the exchange location.
Lubinets also insisted this Friday that Russia has not officially communicated any names of the 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who died in the incident.
According to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia has not yet provided any information about the alleged Ukrainian victims of the incident.
“Testing, that’s the main word now (…) Our state will insist on an international investigation,” said the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskywho specified that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has already opened investigations to clarify “all the circumstances” of the incident.
The Ukrainian authorities doubt that the damaged plane was transporting prisoners to be exchanged for Russian soldiers.
“It is necessary to establish all the facts precisely, to the extent possible, taking into account that the plane fell on Russian territory, beyond our control”Zelensky stressed.
“The Russians play with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, the feelings of their families and the emotions of our society,” he denounced, without specifying who shot down the plane or what caused its fall.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskovreacted to the Ukrainian president’s statements, pointing out that “if he is referring to an investigation into the criminal actions of the kyiv regime, then that is unequivocally necessary.”
“This is not the first time that the kyiv regime has killed its citizens. They started killing them by shooting at them with tanks in 2014. And they continue to do so,” he added.
In turn, the representative of Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR), Andri Yusov, stated that he was aware that Only five bodies entered the morgue in the city of Belgorod after the catastrophe.
(With information from EFE)