Unknown persons hijacked a transport plane from the airport in Kabul, which was intended to evacuate Ukrainian citizens from Afghanistan. About it “Public Radio” said the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Yenin.
However, on the same day, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denied the deputy minister’s statement. The diplomats assured that the information about the seizure of the liner is not true.
According to Yenin, the hijacking of the aircraft took place on Sunday, August 22, and on August 24, the aircraft took off from Kabul. “Our plane was actually stolen – it flew to Iran with an unknown group of passengers on board instead of taking out the Ukrainians,” Yenin said.
Later, on August 24, the speaker of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Oleg Nikolenko, denied this statement, saying that no one had captured a Ukrainian plane in Afghanistan. According to him, all the planes that Kiev used to evacuate 256 people from Afghanistan have successfully returned to Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry explained Yenin’s words to the chaos in Afghanistan. “Yevhen Yenin generally explained the unprecedented level of difficulties that diplomats had to face in order to pull the Ukrainians out. We must understand that the situation at the airport is close to chaos, many people are trying to get hold of at least some opportunity to leave the country, ”the Foreign Ministry said.
How reported Ukrainian newspaper “Strana.ua” sources in aviation circles, there was no hijacking of the plane in reality – Afghan businessmen with their families went to Iran, having paid for the flight “past the official ticket office.”
On board were rich Shiite Hazaras, who paid for the flight to Iran with currency, gold and precious stones, sources inform “Strana.ua”
Officially, the ministry or other Ukrainian authorities do not confirm this information. The journalists have not yet provided convincing evidence of this version.
According to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, by the evening of August 23, about 50 Ukrainian citizens remained in Kabul. At the same time, as told on briefing Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, diplomats receive new requests for help every day.
“We will not leave anyone to their own devices, so we will work on further evacuation in two ways: with partners, so that they pick up our citizens or organize their own aircraft,” he said.
The minister noted that about 100 people were taken home from Kabul on the last Ukrainian flight on August 23. Shortly thereafter, the US military announced the closure of the harbor to civilian flights. “We were officially warned that if the flight does not take place within an hour, we will have to wait for an unknown number of days. Indeed, literally an hour after the departure of our plane with the Ukrainians on board, the Kabul airport today stopped all flights, ”Kuleba said.
The evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans working for foreign missions is carried out through the only airport in Kabul, held by the US military and other NATO member countries. The Taliban (banned in Russia) said they would not provide the Americans with a respite for the evacuation of citizens after August 31.
As a result of the stampede and conflicts with the use of firearms on the territory of the air harbor, more than 20 people were killed during the evacuation. The day before, on 23 August, General Stephen Lyons, head of the US Transportation Command, warned of a “significant threat” to aircraft in Kabul. However, he refused to give any details, explaining that there are good reasons for this.