Russia Ready to Return Bodies of Ukrainian Soldiers from Plane Crash

World » UKRAINE | March 1, 2024, Friday // 10:00
Bulgaria: Russia Ready to Return Bodies of Ukrainian Soldiers from Plane Crash

Amidst the war between Russia and Ukraine, a glimmer of potential cooperation emerges as Russia announces its readiness to hand over the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers who perished in a tragic plane crash. Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova made the announcement today, as reported by RIA and Reuters.

The crash of the Il-76 military plane in January, which claimed the lives of 74 individuals, including 65 Ukrainian soldiers, has been a point of contention between the two nations. Moscow has squarely blamed Kyiv for shooting down the aircraft over Russia's Belgorod region. However, Moskalkova's statement did not provide conclusive evidence to support these claims, prompting skepticism from Reuters.

Despite the accusations and counter-accusations, Moskalkova affirmed ongoing communication with Ukrainian officials regarding the repatriation of the deceased soldiers' bodies.

The crash investigation has been mired in controversy, with conflicting narratives from both sides. Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov has called for an international probe into the incident to ascertain whether the plane was carrying weapons or passengers in addition to the crew.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has echoed these sentiments, advocating for an impartial international investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. However, amidst the diplomatic maneuvering, accusations continue to fly between Moscow and Kyiv, further complicating the path to resolution.

Western intelligence estimates suggest that the plane may have been downed by a Ukrainian missile, but definitive evidence remains elusive. French military officials have purportedly concluded that Ukrainian forces utilized Patriot surface-to-air missiles in the incident, sparking further controversy.

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Tags: Russia, Ukraine, plane, investigation

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