Video: Russian plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashes

Video: Russian plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashes

The Ilyushin Il-76 had six crew members and three others on board.
Video: Russian plane carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashes

Web Desk

|

24 Jan 2024

A Russian military plane crashed near the Belgorod border region, carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war (PoWs) set for exchange.

The aircraft, Ilyushin Il-76, had six crew members and three others on board. Initial reports from Telegram channels linked to Russian security services suggested all 74 onboard died.

Footage on social media shows a large aircraft crash and ensuing fireball. While Ukrainskaya Pravda initially mentioned Kyiv forces shooting down the plane, they later retracted the statement.

Belgorod's regional governor confirmed an "accident,"  adding that the emergency services were working at the scene.

The Ilyushin Il-76 is designed for military transport, airlifting troops, cargo, and weapons.

https://twitter.com/Hareem_shah1122/status/1750099233062142074?s=20

Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Duma, said the plane had been “shot down” by Kyiv and blamed Western missiles.

“They shot their own soldiers in the air. Their own,” Volodin told lawmakers in a plenary session. “Our pilots, who were carrying out a humanitarian mission, were shot down.”

Kartapolov claimed Russia and Ukraine planned a significant prisoner exchange on the day of the crash, involving 192 prisoners from each side. 

Recently, Russia and Ukraine revealed plans for the most significant prisoner exchange since the war's onset, aiming to return over 200 soldiers from each side. The United Arab Emirates mediated this agreement. 

Notably, the Belgorod region, situated on the Ukraine border, serves as a crucial point on Russian supply routes. Over several months, the region has faced continuous shelling and drone attacks, including a devastating missile strike in December that claimed the lives of 25.

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