Russia-Ukraine war: Putin ‘playing with lives’ in plane crash as Moscow blames Kyiv

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Kyiv has opened a criminal complaint into the crash of a Russian military plane after Moscow accused Ukraine of downing the aircraft which was allegedly carrying dozens of PoWs.

Kyiv did not directly confirm it had shot down the Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane, which was downed near the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border on Wednesday. It did not confirm that Ukrainian prisoners were on board.

It comes after Vladimir Putin was accused of playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners and their families after he claimed the plane was downed by Kyiv.

“The Security Service of Ukraine has opened criminal proceedings into the crash of the Russian Aerospace Forces Il-76 aircraft in the Belgorod region,” it said.

Volodymyr Zelensky said it was clear the Kremlin was deliberately playing with the emotions of Ukrainians after it claimed 65 PoWs died in a plane crash.

It comes as Nato began its largest war drills in nearly 40 years in a a move designed to show the “unity” and “strength” of the Western alliance.


Russia’s top diplomat accuses US, South Korea and Japan of preparing for war with North Korea

Russia’s top diplomat accused the United States, South Korea and Japan on Wednesday of preparing for war with North Korea.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a UN news conference that this new military bloc brought together by the United States is building up military activity and conducting large-scale exercises. The United States, South Korea and Japan have described their combined military drills as defensive in nature and necessary to cope with growing North Korean nuclear threats.

All of a sudden South Korea’s rhetoric “became even more hostile towards Pyongyang,” Lavrov said. “In Japan as well, we hear aggressive rhetoric” and it is seriously talking about setting up NATO infrastructure with US assistance.

Edith M. Lederer reports:

Tara Cobham26 January 2024 03:00


Recap: Watch moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Moment Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war appears to crash

Tara Cobham26 January 2024 02:00


Flight recorders from Russian plane crash that killed all 74 aboard are reportedly found

Investigators searching the site where a Russian military transport plane crashed in a border region near Ukraine reportedly have found the plane’s flight recorders, a day after Moscow accused Kyiv of shooting down the aircraft and Ukraine’s president demanded an international investigation.

The Il-76 fell from the sky and crashed in a huge ball of flame in a rural area of Russia on Wednesday, killing all 74 people on board, Russian authorities said, as the war nears its two-year mark.

Russian officials accused Kyiv of shooting down the plane with two missiles, claiming that 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war were on board as they headed for a prisoner swap. They offered no evidence for their claim.

Tara Cobham26 January 2024 01:00


Watch: Moment pregnant woman carried out of Mariupol hospital after Russian attack

Moment pregnant woman is carried out of Mariupol hospital after Russian attack

Tara Cobham26 January 2024 00:00


Nepal asks Russia to send back Nepalis recruited to fight in Ukraine and bodies of those killed

Nepal has asked Russia to send back hundreds of Nepali nationals who were recruited to fight against Ukraine and repatriate the bodies of those who died in the conflict, Nepal’s top diplomat said Thursday.

The Russian army is estimated to have recruited more than 200 Nepali nationals to fight in Ukraine and at least 14 of them have died there, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud said in an interview with The Associated Press.

“We have asked Russia to immediately stop the recruitment of Nepali nationals in their army, immediately return those who are already serving in the army, repatriate the bodies of those killed, and treat and return those who were wounded in the fighting,” Saud said.

Binaj Gurubacharya reports:

Tara Cobham25 January 2024 23:00


Separatist rebel leader in Ukraine who called Putin cowardly sentenced to 4 years in prison

The Moscow City Court on Thursday convicted a former Ukraine rebel leader who called President Vladimir Putin cowardly of extremism and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Igor Girkin, who used the surname alias of Strelkov (shooter), was the most prominent leader of Russian-backed separatist fighters in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in 2014, when rebellion arose after the ouster of Ukraine’s Russia-allied president.

He returned to Russia and became a nationalist commentator and activist. He supported launching Russia’s war in Ukraine, but sharply criticized authorities for being inept and indecisive in carrying out the fight.

Tara Cobham25 January 2024 22:00


Several Ukrainian state-run bodies report cyber attacks

Several major Ukrainian state organisations on Thursday reported cyber attacks on their systems, in the latest wave that a source close to the government blamed on Russian intelligence.

Ukraine’s state-run energy company Naftogaz said one of the data centres had been hit by a “large-scale cyberattack”. It said on the Telegram messaging app: “Our websites and call centre are currently down.”

Ukrainian national postal service Ukrposhta reported a “significant technical failure” in its IT systems. “Last night there was an attack on the information infrastructure of our partners,” Ukrposhta head Ihor Smeliansky said on Telegram. The company said its specialists were working to fix the problem and restore full operations.

Ukrtransbezpeka, a state transport safety agency, which maintains the border crossing system for Ukrainian drivers, also reported problems with its data centre.

Interfax Ukraine news agency later quoted CERT-UA, the state body responsible for countering cyber attacks, as saying its specialists were working to resolve problems.

A convention centre and the ticket sales system for Ukrainian state railways also reported suspected cyber attacks.

A source close to the Ukrainian government said there were other “victims,” mainly in the finance and banking sector, but that government policy was to disclose only those whose services go down.

Tara Cobham25 January 2024 21:51


Watch: Russian military plane ‘possibly’ struck by Ukraine missile as Kyiv doubts prisoners of war claim

Russian military plane ‘possibly’ struck by Ukraine missile as Kyiv doubts prisoners of war claim

Tara Cobham25 January 2024 21:09


Russian woman jailed for 27 years for cafe bomb killing

A Russian woman has been jailed for 27 years for delivering a bomb that exploded in the hands of a pro-war military blogger, killing him on the spot.

Darya Trepova, 26, was convicted by a St Petersburg court of charges including terrorism in connection with the death of blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, whose real name is Maxim Fomin, last April. Trepova, 26, denied the charges, saying she thought the statuette contained a listening device and claiming that she had acted on the orders of a Ukrainian contact, and was set up.

Tatarsky was killed by a bomb concealed inside a statuette in his likeness that Trepova had presented to him as a gift during a talk he was giving in a St Petersburg cafe.

Tara Cobham25 January 2024 20:25


Ukraine and Russia trade accusations over fatal plane crash

Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Thursday over the crash of a military transport plane that Moscow said was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war and was shot down by Kyiv’s forces, another heated episode in the information war that has been a feature of the conflict.

Though investigators reportedly found the flight recorders a day after Wednesday’s crash, there was little hope that the circumstances would be clarified in a war where both sides have often used accusations to sway opinion at home and abroad.

The Il-76 crashed in a huge ball of fire in a rural area of Russia, and authorities there said all 74 people on board, including 65 POWs, six crew members and three Russian servicemen, were killed.

The crash triggered a spate of claims and counterclaims, but neither side offered evidence for their accusations, and The Associated Press could not independently confirm who was aboard or how the plane was downed.

Russia alleged that Kyiv shot down the plane with two missiles and said the prisoners of war were headed for an exchange. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described it as “a totally monstrous act.” Russia’s top investigative agency, known as the Investigative Committee, opened a criminal probe Thursday on charges that the crash was a terrorist act.

Ukraine responded by casting doubt on the fact that POWs were aboard and putting forward their own theories, including implying that the plane may have posed a threat.

Wreckage of the Il-76 is seen near Yablonovo, Belgorod region of Russia, on Thursday


Tara Cobham25 January 2024 19:11

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