President of Ukraine

Address by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy due to the crash of a Ukrainian airline passenger plane in Iran on January 8

9 January 2020 - 06:23

Fellow Ukrainians!

The morning of January 8, 2020 became a dark page in the history of both Ukraine and the world. My sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of eleven dead citizens of Ukraine: Volodymyr Haponenko, Oleksiy Naumkin, Serhiy Khomenko, Kateryna Statnik, Ihor Matkov, Mariya Mykytiuk, Denys Lykhno, Valeriya Ovcharuk, Yuliya Solohub, Olena Malakhova and Olha Kobiuk.

The state will provide their families with all the assistance they need.

January 9 is declared the day of national mourning.

I also extend my condolences to the families of the other victims. It is known that these are citizens of Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.

Undoubtedly, the priority for Ukraine is to identify the causes of the plane crash. We will surely find out the truth. For this purpose, a thorough and independent investigation will be conducted in accordance with international law.

The commission created by the Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran will investigate the crash.

At 3:30 am, 45 our specialists arrived in Iran as part of the search and rescue team, including officials of the State Aviation Service, the National Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine, and UIA representatives. In 2 hours, they will depart to the crash site.

We expect that they will all be involved in the work of the commission, including the decoding of the black box records.

If necessary, other experts who have also arrived in Tehran may be included in the commission. These are representatives of the NSDC, the Security Service of Ukraine, the State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, and other state institutions. These are the best specialists in our country with extensive expertise. They will also identify and repatriate the dead Ukrainians.

Today, I will hold a phone conversation with the President of Iran to step up cooperation with the Ukrainian side to establish the truth. I also call on the international community, in particular Canada, to join the investigation into the circumstances of the Ukrainian Boeing-737 crash.

Also, unscheduled and comprehensive safety inspections of UIA flights and other national airlines will be conducted in Ukraine.

Ukrainian citizens are advised to refrain from visiting this region. Ukrainian airlines are banned from flying in the airspace of Iran and Iraq until the causes of the crash are clarified.

Separately, I would like to emphasize that both before and after the departure of the Ukrainian aircraft, planes of international, including European airlines, landed and took off at the Tehran International Airport. Flights were suspended only by the United States of America.

No other country has banned its airlines from flying over Iran and canceled flights before the morning plane crash.

And finally. Our information space is currently filled with numerous theories and speculations about the tragedy. It is clear that we all want to know the truth as soon as possible. But in such cases, speed can interfere with the truth. We need to wait for at least the preliminary report of the investigation commission.

And I ask everyone - especially when Ukraine is in conditions of information warfare - to refrain from manipulation, speculation, conspiracy theories, hasty categorical evaluations and unverified versions.

This is not a topic for hype, likes on social networks, sensations and conspiracy theories. We need patience, endurance and wisdom.

And this dreadful story should teach all of us - every citizen of Ukraine and every world leader - to appreciate human lives.

And to do so before they end so quickly and painfully.