Author Topic: Russian Military Transport IL-76 Crashes with 65 Ukranian POWs On Board  (Read 7986 times)

Offline RonR

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A Russian military transport plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashed Wednesday morning in Russia’s Belgorod region near Ukraine, according to Russia's Defense Ministry.

Six crew members and three other people were also on the flight, the Defense Ministry said.

The crash happened at around 11 a.m. local time.

It was not immediately clear what caused the plane to go down or if anyone survived.

Video screencapture shows a Russian warplane flying before it crashed in the Belgorod region

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, and a special military commission was called to the crash site, the Defense Ministry said.

Hours after the plane went down, the ministry released a statement blaming Ukraine. Ukraine has not confirmed any involvement.

"The Ukrainian leadership was well aware that, in accordance with established practice, Ukrainian servicemen would be transported by military transport aircraft to the Belgorod airfield today to be exchanged," the ministry said. "By committing this terrorist act, the Ukrainian leadership has showed its true face. It disregarded the lives of its own citizens."

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, citing the ministry, reported that the POWs were being transported to the border region for a prisoner exchange, according to the Associated Press.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on a call that he could not comment on the crash as he did not have enough information.

Andrei Kartapolov, a member of the Russian parliament and retired general, claimed during a parliamentary session that the plane had been shot down by three missiles. He did not say where he had obtained that information, Reuters reported.

An explosion can be seen where a Russian military transport plane crashed in Belgorod, Russia

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

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 plane was identified as an Ilyushin Il-76, a military transport aircraft used to airlift troops, cargo, military equipment and weapons.