Il-76 crash: Russians and Ukrainians accuse each other at the UN
Russia and Ukraine blamed each other at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Thursday following the crash of a Russian military plane near the Ukrainian border the previous day.
“All the information we have today shows that we are dealing with a premeditated and well-thought-out crime,” said Russian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Dmitry Polyansky, whose country requested this emergency meeting.
Moscow accuses Kiev of knowingly shooting down the plane that, according to Russian authorities, was transporting 65 Ukrainian prisoners for exchange. The Ukrainian authorities “knew the route very well [aérienne] for the transport of soldiers to the exchange zone,” assured Dmitri Polyansky.
It was not the first exchange of this kind, but “this time the Kiev regime, for some inexplicable reason, decided to sabotage the process in the most barbaric way,” he added, accusing the Ukrainians of “being ready to attack their own citizens.” sacrifice”. for the geopolitical interests of the West”. “It is only thanks to the heroism of the pilots who evaded residential areas at the last moment that no one suffered on the ground,” he assured.
“Ukraine was not informed about the number of vehicles, routes and means of transport of prisoners. This alone could constitute a deliberate act by Russia to endanger the lives and safety of prisoners,” Ukrainian Deputy Ambassador Khrystyna Hayovyshyn responded. The Russian prisoners “were taken to the appointed place and safely awaited exchange. “The Russians should provide the same level of security to captured Ukrainian soldiers,” she stressed.
“If reports of the presence of Ukrainian prisoners of war on board were confirmed, it would be another blatant violation of international humanitarian law by Russia, with the first case of the use of human airborne shields to cover missile transport,” she assured.
“The United Nations is unable to verify these reports or the circumstances of the accident,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo said at the meeting.
For their part, Ukraine's allies insisted that nothing would have happened without Russia's invasion of Ukraine. “Russia continually seeks to shift blame for the tragedies of this chosen and senseless war, as if it were the victim rather than the aggressor,” said U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood.
“Instead of calling meetings to reverse the order of responsibilities, [la Russie] “Ukraine should act (…) and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory,” argued French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, but noted that it was “important to shed light on these events.”