A Russian Il-76 military transport plane, which had 65 Ukrainian soldiers on board for an exchange of prisoners of war, was shot down “with an anti-aircraft missile launched from the North-East” by the Ukrainian armed forces over the territory of the Federation. This is the version provided by Moscow of the accident that occurred this morning, which saw the plane crash in the village of Korochansky, in the southern region of Belgorod, about 50 kilometers from the border. According to some Ukrainian sources, however, the aircraft was carrying S-300 missiles (RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR, FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES).
Another plane with 80 people on board managed to reverse course
Moscow’s Defense Ministry reported that 74 people were on board, including 65 prisoners of war. The ministry reported that it was shot down by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile launched from the North-East, in what it defined as “a terrorist attack by the Kiev regime”. The Foreign Ministry spoke of an “act of mad barbarity” by Ukraine. “There are no survivors” said the local governor. According to the head of the Duma Defense Committee, Andrei Kartapolov, a second cargo plane carrying another eighty Ukrainian prisoners immediately managed to reverse course. Before the crash, the plane’s crew managed to report an “external impact,” Senator and former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces Viktor Bondyrev said. Shortly before the news of the crash, Russian agencies had reported that an air raid alarm had been sounded in the Belogorod region.
Moscow: “Ukrainians voluntarily shot down the plane”
The Russian Defense Ministry said the plane was shot down by two Ukrainian missiles. “The Ukrainian leadership knew very well – the ministry added in a statement – that, according to established practice, today Ukrainian military personnel would be transferred by military transport planes to Belgorod airport for an exchange. According to the agreement reached Previously, the exchange was supposed to take place in the afternoon at the Kolotilovka checkpoint on the Russian-Ukrainian border.” “The Nazi regime in Kiev,” the Russian Defense Ministry further stated, “then voluntarily shot down the plane with “the aim of blaming Russia,” and “by committing this terrorist attack, the Ukrainian leadership showed its true face”. The director of the Russia Today television channel, Margarita Simonyan, published on her Telegram channel a list of what she claims are Ukrainian prisoners of war, posting a photograph with the names, with the date of birth of each one next to them. There is no official confirmation of the list.
Kiev General Staff: “We will continue to destroy Russian weapons delivery vehicles”
Even some Kiev media, citing a source, initially wrote that it was the “work of the Ukrainian armed forces”, but the news was later changed. Ukraine then urged the media to be cautious, recalling that all the information available so far comes “from enemy propaganda”. Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate confirmed that a prisoner exchange was planned today, but did not specify the numbers of soldiers involved. Only in the afternoon did an official communication arrive from the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with a post on Facebook: “In order to reduce the missile threat, the Ukrainian Armed Forces not only control the airspace, but also monitor in detail the launch points of the rockets and the logistics of their supply, especially with the use of military transport aviation”. And “keeping this in mind, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue to take measures to destroy means of delivery and control of airspace to eliminate the terrorist threat, including in the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction.”