Russian committee says video shows Ukrainian soldiers boarding plane before crash

Russia’s Investigative Committee on Friday posted online a video of what it described as Ukrainian prisoners of war boarding a plane that later crashed in the south of the country.

But Ukrainian commentators immediately cast doubt on the authenticity of the video.

Moscow accuses Kyiv of downing the plane on Wednesday in Russia’s Belgorod region and killing 74 people on board, including 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers en route to be swapped for Russian PoWs.

The committee, Russia’s main investigative authority, posted the video on its Telegram channel showing vehicles approaching an Ilyushin-76 aircraft on a snowy airfield. Individuals are seen getting out of the vehicles in preparation for boarding.

The video has no sound and is accompanied only by a single line of explanation that it depicts Ukrainian servicemen boarding the military transport. It gave no location.

There was no official Ukrainian comment on the video.

Ukrainian Radio NV wrote in a comment: “Because of the poor quality of the video, it is difficult to understand exactly what is happening.”

Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Intelligence Directorate, told an official group dealing with the treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war that Kyiv had for the moment no “credible and comprehensive information” about who might have been on board the aircraft.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that the Russian military plane that crashed near the border with Ukraine was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses.

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