A Ukrainian plane that arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate Ukrainians has been hijacked by unidentified people who flew it into Iran, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin said on Tuesday.
“Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people. On Tuesday, the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians. Our next three evacuation attempts were also not successful because our people could not get into the airport,” he said.
- UPDATE Ukraine ministry of foreign affairs spokesman denied the allegations of plane hijacking. Iranian aviation authority also denied the hijacking stating that the aircraft landed temporarily at “Mashhad” airport for refuelling before it continued its flight to Kyiv.
According to him, the hijackers were armed. However, the deputy minister did not report anything about what happened to the plane or whether Kiev would seek to get it back or how the Ukrainian citizens got back from Kabul, onboard of this “practically stolen” plane or another one sent by Kiev.
Yenin only underlined that the whole diplomatic service headed by Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba “had been working in the crash test mode” the whole week.
On Sunday, a military transport plane with 83 people onboard, including 31 Ukrainians, arrived from Afghanistan to Kiev. The presidential office reported that 12 Ukrainian military personnel returned home, while foreign reporters and public figures who requested help were also evacuated.
The office also added that around 100 Ukrainians are still expecting evacuating in Afghanistan.