Highlights

  • Russian plane carrying PoWs crashes
  • Russia says Ukraine shot down plane
  • Ukraine shot own soldiers, claims Russia

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Russia accuses Ukraine of downing plane carrying 65 prisoners of war

The Speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, claimed the plane had been shot down by Kyiv and blamed Western missiles.

Russia accuses Ukraine of downing plane carrying 65 prisoners of war

Russia has accused Ukraine of shooting down a military plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war on Wednesday.

Russia said that the 65 Ukrainain soldiers along with 6 crew members and 3 guards were killed when the plane crashed. Mosow said that the Ukrainian soldiers were being taken for a prisoner exchange when the plane was shot down in Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border.

Vyacheslav Volodin, the top lawmaker in Russia's lower house of parliament, claimed the plane had been shot down by Kyiv and blamed Western missiles.

"They shot their own soldiers in the air. Their own," Volodin told lawmakers in a plenary session. "Our pilots, who were carrying out a humanitarian mission, were shot down."

The crash occurred in the Korochansky district, northeast of the region's capital, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on social media.

"Everyone on board died," he wrote in a later post.

He said the plane had crash in a field and the area had been closed off while investigators and emergency services worked at the scene.

AFP was not able to immediately verify Russia's claims.

In Kyiv, local media initially cited sources in the Ukrainian security services as saying that its army had downed the plane, and that it was transporting missiles. But media outlets later retracted the claim.

Ukrainian rights ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets, who is among officials responsible for prison exchanges, later said his office was probing the incident.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov declined to comment, saying news around the crash was still emerging but said Russian authorities would "look into" the incident.

The issue of prisoners of war is sensitive in both countries.

In 2022, Russia and Ukraine accused each other of carrying out deadly bombardments on a jail holding dozens of captured Ukrainian servicemen in Kremlin-controlled Olenivka, in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region.

Both Moscow and Kyiv blamed each other for the incident, which President Volodymyr Zelensky called a "Russian war crime".


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