Russian Plane Crashes With Ukrainian POWs On Board – RIA Cites Defence Ministry


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A Russian Ilyushin Il-76 military transport plane crashed near the Ukrainian border on Wednesday, and state news agency RIA quoted the defence ministry as saying it was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war to be exchanged for Russian captives.

The plane was carrying 74 people, including six crew and three guards when it crashed, RIA cited the defence ministry as saying. There was no immediate information on the cause.

Andrei Kartapolov, a lawmaker in Russia’s parliament and a retired general, said during a parliamentary session that the plane had been shot down by three missiles.

He did not say what the source of his information was.

Reuters could not immediately verify details of who was on board, but Russia and Ukraine regularly swap prisoners of war.

Ukraine’s defence ministry and air force did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Video posted on the Telegram messenger app by Baza, a channel linked to Russian security services, and verified by Reuters, showed a large aircraft falling towards the ground near the village of Yablonovo in the Belgorod region and exploding in a vast fireball.

Local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that an unspecified “incident” had occurred in the region’s Korochansky district, northeast of Belgorod city and that he was going to inspect the site.

He said investigators and emergency workers were already on the scene.

The Il-76 is a military transport aircraft designed to airlift troops, cargo, military equipment, and weapons.

It usually has a crew of five and can carry up to 90 passengers.

The Kremlin said in response to a reporter’s question that it was looking into the situation.

Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, has come under frequent attack from Ukraine in recent months, including a December missile strike that killed 25 people. (Reuters)


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