Zelenskyj Responds to Plane Crash

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.25 - 2024 8:26 AM CET

Photo: President.gov.ua
Photo: President.gov.ua
Zelenskyj Responds to Plane Crash.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has expressed his views on the recent Russian plane crash that has been making headlines. In his statement on Wednesday night, Zelenskyj remarked, "It is clear that the Russians are playing with the lives of the Ukrainian prisoners." This is reported by Ground.news.

The crash, which occurred earlier that day in the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, has been a subject of controversy. The Russian government claimed that the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, none of whom survived. Furthermore, Russia has accused Ukrainian forces of shooting down the aircraft.

In his national address, Zelenskyj described the 700th day of the war as a 'very difficult day.' He recounted convening a meeting with key Ukrainian defense and intelligence officials, including Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, Army Commander Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov, and Head of Ukraine’s Intelligence Service Vasyl Maliuk, to discuss the plane crash and the prisoner exchange.

"The Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, their relatives' emotions, and our society's feelings," Zelenskyj stated. He emphasized the need for establishing "all clear facts," acknowledging the challenge due to the crash site being in Russian territory, beyond their control. "Facts are the key word now," he added.

In his speech, Zelenskyj did not confirm or directly deny the accusations from Russia. However, he revealed that Ukraine's main intelligence directorate is currently determining the fate of all the prisoners. "Ukraine’s Security Service is investigating all circumstances. I have instructed Ukraine’s Foreign Minister to provide our partners with the information available to Ukraine," he explained, calling for an international investigation. "Our state will insist on an international inquiry," Zelenskyj asserted.

According to Russia's Defense Ministry, a total of 74 people were on board the crashed plane. Ukrainian intelligence, as reported by Ritzau, confirmed that a prisoner exchange with Russia was underway, noting that Russia had not previously announced the transportation of war prisoners on the plane.

The UN Security Council, as per AFP, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the crashed plane and Russia's allegations against Ukraine.

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