A spokesperson for Ukraine’s foreign ministry has denied an earlier report from the deputy foreign minister claiming that armed hijackers took control of a Ukrainian evacuation plane and flew it to Iran after it arrived in Afghanistan, according to Ukrainian news agency RBC.
Russian news agency TASS on Tuesday cited Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister Yevhenii Yenin as saying the plane was “practically stolen.”
“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,” Tass reported Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister Yevhenii Yenin as saying.
“Our next three evacuation attempts were also not successful because our people could not get into the airport,” he added.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko told RBC on Tuesday that Yevhenii was referring generally to the difficulties in evacuating people from the airport in Kabul.
Iran’s aviation authority said the plane stopped in the country for refueling.
A military transport plane with 83 people onboard including 31 Ukrainians arrived in Kiev from Afghanistan on Sunday. Ukraine’s presidency reported that 12 Ukrainian military personnel returned home, while reporters and others who requested evacuation were returned.
Around 100 Ukrainians are still waiting to be evacuated, the presidency added.