The Il-76 was shot dawn in Russian Belgorod region with 65 Ukrainian prisoners on board. The aircraft was attacked by Ukrainian missiles

18:01 24.01.2024 •

An Il-76 military plane crashed in the Belgorod Region. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 74 individuals were on board, including 65 Ukrainian captives.

TASS has gathered the key information about the incident.

What happened

- The Il-76 crashed at about 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (8:00 a.m. GMT). There were 65 Ukrainian prisoners on board, who were being carried for an exchange. Besides, six crew members and three accompanying people were on the plane.

- The plane crashed five to six kilometers away from the village of Yablonovo in the Korocha District of Russia’s borderline Belgorod Region, a local priest told TASS. According to him, the crash caused no damage on the ground.

- The causes of the disaster have not been officially announced yet.

Work at the scene

- A team of investigators and Emergencies Ministry employees are currently working at the scene, the governor of Russia’s borderline Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, has reported. He said that he had also departed for the Korocha district.

- The region's operational services told TASS that ambulance crews, firefighters and police officers have been sent to the site of the plane crash.

- A commission from the Russian Aerospace Forces is on its way to the region to investigate the causes of the crash.

Authorities' response

- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he could not yet comment on reports about the crash. "I can't comment on the issue, it's fairly new, fresh information, we will deal with it now," he said.

- The head of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, said that the plane could have been shot down by the Ukrainian Armed Forces using missiles of the US Patriot surface-to-air missile system or the German IRIS-T.

- State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin proposed to prepare an appeal to the US Congress and the German Bundestag to find out what missiles could have caused the crash of the IL-76 airplane.

- Head of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs and LDPR leader Leonid Slutsky said this is "not the first time the Ukrainian military has hit its own" and added that the authorities in Washington and Brussels were equally responsible for the "shooting of prisoners of war in the air."

- No survivors in Ilyushin-76 crash in Belgorod Region. According to Vyacheslav Gladkov, all emergency response services are on site, and investigative measures are being taken. "A transport plane crashed in the Korochansky district. It fell in a field near a populated area. All on board died," Gladkov wrote on Telegram.

The Ukrainian media reported that an Il-76 from the Russian Aerospace Forces was shot down near Belgorod by the Ukrainian armed forces.

After the Russian Defense Ministry had revealed that Ukrainian POWs were being transported on board the plane for an exchange, the Ukrainian media edited the news and deleted the information about the Ukrainian military being responsible for the plane's destruction.

The Kyiv regime shot down the plane, seeking to pin the blame on Russia for the deaths of the Ukrainian POWs, the Russian Defense Ministry stated, informs Sputnik.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that radar facilities of the Russian Aerospace Forces recorded the launch of two Ukrainian missiles.

"The aircraft was attacked by Ukrainian forces from the Liptsy locality of the Kharkov region using an anti-aircraft missile system. The radar of the Russian Armed Forces observed the launch of two Ukrainian missiles," the ministry said.

The ministry said the plane was shot down at 11:15 a.m. The plane was flying from the Chkalovsky airfield to Belgorod to transport Ukrainian prisoners of war for exchange.

"The Nazi regime in Kyiv took this step in pursuit of the goal of blaming Russia for the destruction of the Ukrainian military," the statement said.

On board the plane were six crew members, 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war for exchange and three Russian servicemen accompanying them. All of them died, the ministry said.

"The crew and all passengers of the plane were killed. The Ukrainian leadership knew very well that, according to established practice, today Ukrainian military personnel would be transported by military transport aircraft to the Belgorod airfield for exchange," the statement said.

According to the previously reached agreement, this exchange was to take place in the afternoon at the Kolotilovka checkpoint on the Russian-Ukrainian border.

"The Kyiv regime took this step with the goal of blaming Russia for the destruction of the Ukrainian military," the ministry said.

Speaker of Russia’s lower house Vyacheslav Volodin instructed lawmakers to prepare an appeal to the US Congress and Germany’s Bundestag in connection with the plane crash in order to show foreign parliamentarians for what purposes Kiev is using their military assistance, as he believes the Ukrainian military shot down the plane.

"There is a proposal to clarify which rockets and launchers were used, let's prepare an appeal to the US Congress and the German Bundestag so that lawmakers finally have an epiphany whom they are financing, whom they are helping. This is a Nazi regime, nourished by Biden, Macron, Scholz, and other politicians, they should realize their responsibility, and the members of the parliaments should declare impeachment," he said at the plenary session.

Volodin also suggested that the Duma's position on the issue be brought to the attention of national parliaments.

"Their soldiers were shot in the air... their mothers, wives, children were waiting there," Volodin added.

Another plane carrying 80 POWs that followed the downed IL-76 plane in the Belgorod region was turned back, the chairman of the State Duma Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, said.


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