Editor’s note: Global News previously reported, based on information from government officials, that 63 Canadians were killed in the Jan. 8 Ukraine International Airlines crash in Iran. On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said that the number of crash victims who are Canadian citizens is now believed to be 57 due to additional information received. This story has been revised to reflect the latest figure provided by the Canadian government.
Candles, flowers, and pictures — the memorial to the victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 grows as more people arrive in Kyiv.
The scent of flowers is powerful, as is the level of pain on display.
Wave after wave of people stop and look, some of them crying and hugging, some leaving flowers.
Others appear to stand in shock, or maybe just in silent tribute.
Vladislav-Sultan Belzhanov said for him, it’s shock.
His school friend, a 24 year-old, was killed when the plane went down in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other officials have said it appears that the plane was shot done by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
That, however, was again refuted by Iranian officials.
Belzhanov said he found out about the tragedy when he woke up and turned on the TV.
Standing at the memorial for a long time, he described his friend as having a big, kind heart.
The memorial sits between the front doors of the Kyiv Boryspil International Airport and the arrival doors.
Many, if not all, of the 176 people who were on the flight would have walked by the place where roses, carnations, and at least one teddy bear now sit.
Ukraine officials, meanwhile, are at the crash site in Shahedshahr, just outside Tehran.
“Our experts are working on the site and they have access to the debris, and so far we are happy with our cooperation with the Iranian side and we hope that it continues so,” said Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine’s Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council.
“It is now a difficult territory, militarized like the whole world currently, but we hope for our cooperation to continue like this — calmly and with cooperation.”
As for when the Canadian team will arrive at the crash site, that is not known at this point.
Of the 176 passengers and crew on board, 57 passengers were Canadian.