The black box from the Russian plane crash that killed all 74 people on board has been found

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Investigators are searching the site where A A Russian military transport plane crashed In a border area near Ukraine, they found the plane’s black boxes, a day after Moscow accused Kiev of shooting down the plane and demanded that the Ukrainian president conduct an international investigation.

The Il-76 plane fell from the sky and crashed into a huge ball of flame in a rural area of ​​Russia on Wednesday, killing all 74 people on board, Russian authorities said. the war It’s approaching the two-year mark.

Russian officials accused Kiev of shooting down the plane with two missiles, claiming that 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war were on board the plane as they headed for a prisoner exchange. They did not provide any evidence for their claim.

Ukrainian authorities confirmed that a prisoner exchange was scheduled for Wednesday and was cancelled, but said they had no information about who was on board the plane.

Officials in Kiev did not provide any direct response to the Russian claim that Ukraine hit a plane with a missile, although they noted that Russian planes were legitimate targets and that Moscow had not requested safe passage in the context of the prisoner exchange. They warned against publishing unconfirmed reports.

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeated the claim that Ukraine shot down the plane, describing it as a “completely barbaric act.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not directly address Moscow’s allegations, but said Ukraine would push for an international investigation.

“It is necessary to establish all the facts, as much as possible, given that the plane crash occurred on Russian territory — beyond our control,” he said in his evening video address late Wednesday.

“It is clear that the Russians are manipulating the lives of Ukrainian prisoners of war, the feelings of their relatives and the feelings of our society,” Zelensky said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which is expected to be held Thursday afternoon in New York.

The state-owned RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing emergency services, the discovery of the two black boxes from the plane’s flight.

However, there was little hope that the true circumstances of the incident and the Russian allegations would be clarified through the investigation.

Fatal incidents followed by allegations and counter-claims are a feature of war, and are used as ammunition to discredit reputations and incite public opinion.

The 1,500-kilometre (930-mile) front line remained largely static amid a second winter of fighting. While both sides seek to replenish their weapons stocks, the war has recently focused on long-range strikes.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine on https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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