Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Russia’s accusations and actions, stating that Moscow was “playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners.”
Russia claimed that a military plane carrying 74 individuals, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, en route to a scheduled exchange, was shot down near the Ukraine border.
Zelensky expressed dismay at Russia’s manipulation of the lives and emotions of Ukrainian prisoners and their families in response to the tragic incident.
He did not confirm or deny Russia’s claims, but said it had been a “very difficult day.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized the importance of establishing clear facts surrounding the plane downing, acknowledging the challenge due to the incident occurring on Russian territory. He called for an international investigation to determine the circumstances leading to the plane crash.
Despite the circumstances, Zelensky highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the incident. In response, Russia hastily blamed Ukraine, categorizing the event as a “terrorist act.”
In a series of meticulously crafted statements, multiple military agencies in Kyiv affirmed the planned prisoner exchange and held Russia accountable for ensuring the safety of Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) in its custody.
Simultaneously, Kyiv expressed its commitment to persist in targeting Russian military installations and aircraft in the Belgorod region. However, the Ukrainian authorities have not clarified whether Ukrainian POWs perished in the crash or if the plane was brought down by Ukrainian weaponry.
President Zelensky declared that he had directed various state agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the crash.