The plane crash in the Russian border region of Belgorod remains mysterious. Kiev has expressed doubts about Moscow’s claim that there were Ukrainian prisoners of war on board. The news at a glance.
After the crash of a Russian military plane, according to the government in Kiev, there is still no evidence that Ukrainian prisoners of war were actually on board.
“Despite the multitude of loud and rude statements and accusations, no evidence has been presented so far,” Ukrainian media quoted Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov as saying on Thursday. The longer it takes, the more questions arise about the “aggressor state version.”
The Ilyushin Il-76 plane crashed on Wednesday in the Russian border region of Belgorod. Moscow claims that it had several crew members and 65 Ukrainian soldiers on board to fly them to a prisoner exchange. On the way there, the plane was shot down by the Ukrainian army. There is no independent confirmation of this information.
Ukraine and Russia accuse each other at the UN
It is not the first time that Russia has “cynically and cruelly” exploited the issue of prisoners of war and used it as a means of pressure against Ukraine, Yussow criticized. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not comment on the plane crash in his evening video address on Thursday. He had previously called for the incident to be clarified with international help.
Russia and Ukraine also accused each other before the UN Security Council. According to previous information, it was a “premeditated, well-thought-out crime,” said Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitri Polyanski at a meeting of the body in New York. The deputy Ukrainian ambassador to the UN, Chrystyna Hajovyshyn, rejected the allegations: Ukraine was not informed about the number and type of means of transport used to transport the prisoners.
UN aid agency warns of difficult humanitarian situation
The UN refugee agency classifies the humanitarian situation in Ukraine as very serious almost two years after the start of the Russian war of aggression and warns that aid will decrease.
“The air strikes hit the front line and the cities every day. And with every strike they bring destruction that affects civilians. Many people lose their homes or are displaced,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to the German Press Agency in Kiev. The head of the UNHCR spent a week visiting aid projects in Odessa, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Kiev.
Former General Hodges doubts the West’s will to win
Meanwhile, former US general Ben Hodges expressed doubts about the will of the Western allies to win in supporting Ukraine against the aggressor Russia. The year 2024 will be a year of industrial struggle, said the former commander of the US armed forces in Europe at a Bundeswehr symposium on Germany’s new defense plan.
“The Russians are realizing that they can’t take Ukraine down. Ukraine – right now – can’t take Russia down.” There is now a race to see whether Russia or the Western allies can ramp up their industry and produce ammunition more quickly.
This will be important today
The investigation into the plane crash in Belgorod continues. So far the situation is so confusing that even international observers have not yet given any clear assessments.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.