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Ukraine to compensate Iran plane crash victims' families

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight died [AFP]

Date of publication: 11 January, 2020

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Kyiv has also requested compensation from Tehran over the fatal crash which killed all 176 people on board.
Ukraine is offering more than $8,000 in financial compensation to the families of its citizens who were killed in a catastrophic plane crash in Iran earlier this week.

All 176 people on board the plane were killed, including 11 Ukrainians, most of whom were staff for the country's flag carrier.

Iranian officials have admitted responsibility for mistakenly shooting down the plane.

Each family will receive the equivalent of $8,300 from the state, the Ukrainian Cabinet said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address on Saturday that his government will also push Iran to provide separate compensation to the victims' families.

He had just spoken by phone to Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, and said Tehran promised to prosecute those responsible for the shootdown.

The crash occurred early on Wednesday, just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of one of its top generals in a US drone strike last week.

After two days of rejecting increasing speculation and allegations by Western officials that its own troops had downed the plane with a surface-to-air missile, an Iranian Republican Guards Corps commander earlier on Saturday admitted a missile operator had fired upon the passenger jet in error.

Read more: Texts, selfies, and fear of war: The heartbreaking final moments of Iran's plane crash victims

The operator had mistaken the Boeing 737 for a "cruise missile" and only had ten seconds to decide whether or not to open fire, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said in a televised address.

"I would prefer to die rather than witness such an incident," the Guards aerospace commander added.

The majority of passengers on UIA Flight PS752 from Tehran to Kiev were Iranian citizens or Iranian-Canadian dual nationals but also included Ukrainians, Afghans, Britons and Swedes.

Saturday's revelation of Iranian culpability in the crash sparked renewed protests on the streets of the capital.

Demonstrations across the Islamic Republic in October and November last year were met with a bloody crackdown in which an estimated 1,500 were killed in the course of just two weeks.

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