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Russia claims ready to hand over bodies of killed in Il-76 crash to Ukraine

Russia claims ready to hand over bodies of killed in Il-76 crash to Ukraine Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova (wikipedia org)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Russian Human Rights Commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, has said that Moscow is ready to transfer the bodies of Ukrainian prisoners who allegedly died in the crash of an Il-76 plane near Belgorod, according to RIA Novosti and Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets.

"Everything necessary for this in terms of procedure is available... The bodies can be transferred according to existing procedures," said Moskalkova to propagandists.

The Russian ombudsman added that she is allegedly in contact with representatives of Ukraine regarding the crash of the Il-76. According to Moskalkova, the Ukrainian side was interested in the possibility of transferring the bodies, and she is discussing this issue with Ukrainian Ombudsman Lubinets.

"As for the bodies, I immediately informed that we have confirmation and all DNA, which, according to the expertise, allow for identification," she said.

Dmytro Lubinets, in turn, said that Russia has not yet provided official lists, confirmed the death of prisoners, or allowed international organizations access to the crash site of the Il-76.

"I emphasize that Ukraine's position remains unchanged: we demand a transparent investigation, access to the crash site, as well as official lists and repatriation of bodies and conducting appropriate expertise (in case of confirmation), all of which we've been demanding from day one," he said.

Crash of the Russian Il-76 plane

On January 24, a Russian Il-76 plane crashed in the Belgorod region of Russia. Russia claims that there were allegedly 65 Ukrainian military prisoners, six crew members, and three escorts on board the plane. Russians accuse Ukraine of allegedly shooting down the plane.

The General Staff of the Ministry of Defense confirmed that an exchange was indeed scheduled for January 24. However, the statement that Ukrainian prisoners of war were on the plane is not confirmed.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksii Danilov recently said that there were no Ukrainian prisoners on board the Il-76. In his opinion, if indeed prisoners of war had died, Russia would have used it for propaganda purposes.