KYIV, Ukraine — Russia has refused Ukrainian requests to hand over the bodies of scores of prisoners of war whom the Kremlin claims were killed in the downing of a Russian military transport plane by Kyiv's forces, a Ukrainian intelligence official said.
Andrii Yusov, the spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence, in televised remarks late Thursday reaffirmed Kyiv's call for an international probe into the Jan. 24 crash inside Russia that would determine whether the Il-76 transport carried weapons or passengers along with the crew.
Russia accused Ukraine of killing its own men, while Kyiv dismisses Moscow's assertions as “rampant Russian propaganda.”
Kyiv has neither confirmed nor denied that its forces shot the plane down, and Russia's claim the crash killed Ukrainian POWs couldn't be independently verified. Ukrainian officials emphasized that Moscow didn't ask for any specific stretch of airspace to be kept safe for a certain length of time, as it has for past POW exchanges.
Some Western intelligence assessments have suggested the plane was shot down by a missile from Ukraine, although they could not confirm the presence of POWs on board.
A French military official told The Associated Press that the country's military concluded that Ukrainian forces used a battery of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to shoot down the Il-76, firing from about 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) away.
The official, who spoke on…