Ukraine requests punishment, compensation for airliner downed by Iran

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy lays flowers to commemorate victims of the Ukraine Airlines plane crash, Boryspil International airport, Kiev, 9 January.

Iran said on Saturday it had accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed near Tehran, killing all 176 people on board, news wires reported.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake," President Hassan Rowhani wrote on Twitter, offering condolences to the families of victims. He said Iran's armed forces determined that the Boeing 737 was brought down shortly after take-off early Wednesday owing to "missiles fired due to human error."

"This morning brings the truth," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote in response to the announcement. "Ukraine insists on a full admission of guilt. We expect Iran to bring those responsible to justice, return the bodies, pay compensation and issue an official apology. The investigation must be full, open and continue without delays or obstacles," he tweeted.

Ukrainian officials have travelled to Iran to help with the investigation. The damaged black-box flight recorders have been recovered from the crash site.

At the time of the missile strike Iran was on high alert for a US military response to its strikes in Iraq that targeted US forces. Video taken of the incident appears to show the plane on fire before crashing into a field outside Tehran. One video, which the New York Times said it had verified, also appeared to show a missile hitting the plane.

 

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