Kyiv/Kabul – The Russian news agency TASS has claimed that a plane carrying Ukrainian nationals was hijacked in Afghanistan. It was claimed, citing the sources in the Ukrainian foreign ministry, that the plane flew to Iran. However, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and Iran have both denied the allegations. The news has raised questions about the security of Kabul airport and the ongoing campaign for the release of foreign nationals.
‘On Sunday, a Ukrainian plane was hijacked by other people. On Tuesday, a Ukrainian plane was hijacked. Instead of airlifting Ukrainian citizens, it has been taken to Iran by a group of unidentified passengers. Since then, three attempts by Ukraine for the release of its citizens have also failed. Ukrainian citizens could not reach the airport,’ said Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin, reported the Russian news agency Tass.
The Ukrainian minister also said that the hijackers had weapons. Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin did not provide further details on what happened next. He expressed his displeasure with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Yenin said the country’s political system was in a ‘crash test mode’. While Yenin’s claims that the plane was hijacked and repatriating Ukrainian nationals had failed, the State Department said that the nationals returned to the capital Kyiv.
Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said 256 people had been brought to Ukraine from Kabul, including Ukrainian nationals. He also clarified that no Ukrainian aircraft had been hijacked. The State Department clarified that Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin’s statement pointed to the ‘unprecedented’ difficulties faced at the Kabul airport. So far, more than 100 Ukrainians have returned home from Kabul, with about 50 still to return, a foreign spokesman said.
Iran has also denied that any Ukrainian aircraft arrived in this manner. The Tehran Times, which is run by Iran‘s ruling regime, has reported on the matter. The daily quotes a statement issued by the spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry for this. But no official statement has been issued by the Iranian authorities. Therefore, it is believed that the confusion in this regard has increased.
Thousands of foreigners and Afghans are trying to flee the country after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last week. Initially, some civilians returned safely, but now the Taliban have taken control of the area outside the airport and blocked people. As a result, there are frequent violent clashes outside the airport and stampedes also have been reported. About 20 people have been killed so far. The security of runways on the airport is with the US military.