A Ukrainian military intelligence official said on Tuesday that Russia has shown no willingness to return the bodies of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war Moscow says were killed in a military plane crash in the Belgorod region last week, Reuters reports.
Kyiv said Moscow had not provided any evidence to support its claim that 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers were aboard a Russian military transport plane that crashed last Wednesday in Belgorod, Russia, near the border.
Moscow claims a plane was shot down by Ukraine en route to prisoner exchange; Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied that its forces shot it down.
“It’s a statement from Russia that our prisoners were there, and we can only analyze their words for now. Now it is not ready to transfer bodies from the other side,” said spokesman Andriy Yusov, quoted by the Suspilne station.
Russia’s State Investigative Committee said last week that body parts were taken and taken for genetic testing. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday he had no information on what would happen to the remains or whether they would be handed over to Ukraine.
The Russian Investigative Committee released footage from the scene showing a single body in a snowy field, as well as pieces of clothing. Reuters verified the location of the crash site in one of the videos but was unable to independently verify the date or other details.
Ukraine’s human rights commissioner Dmytro Lubinets told Reuters last week that an unofficial list of Ukrainian POW casualties that appeared in Russian media after the crash included soldiers who had already returned in a previous exchange.
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