Military plane crashes in Russia | Ukraine questions lack of images of bodies of captured soldiers

(Kyiv) The head of Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) Kirill Budanov questioned on Saturday the absence of images of the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers killed in the recent crash of a military plane, which Moscow blames on Kyiv.

Russia accuses Ukraine of shooting down a military transport plane in a Russian border region on Wednesday, killing 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were going to be exchanged that day, according to Moscow.

While Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement, it has expressed doubts about the presence of Ukrainian prisoners on board.

“There are a number of elements that are unclear,” Kirill Budanov said in an interview on Ukrainian state television.

“First of all, they did not show fields covered with corpses and remains,” he detailed.

“If this happened as Russia claims, why does Russia continue to hide the bodies? “, he asked.


The Il-76 military aircraft before takeoff.

Russia’s investigative committee has released three videos of what it says is the crash site.

One of them shows a blurry close-up of a dead body. Another shows a forensic team sealing a body bag.

The third is grainy footage purporting to show vehicles transporting the prisoners to the plane before it takes off, but the quality is too poor to verify.

“There are no bodies. There is nothing,” commented Mr. Boudanov.

Kyiv confirmed that a prisoner exchange was to take place on the same day, but assured that Moscow had not requested a temporary air ceasefire near the border, as it had previously done when prisoners from war were being transferred by plane for exchange.

Mr. Putin said Friday that it was “blatant” that Ukrainian forces had shot down the plane and that Kyiv’s military intelligence “knew” that the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian servicemen.

President Volodymyr Zelensky asked for an international investigation to be opened.

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