Il-76 military transport plane crashes in Belgorod region of Russia
On Wednesday, January 24, a Russian military transport aircraft IL-76 crashed in the Korochansky district of the Belgorod region which borders Ukraine
This was reported by the BAZA TV channel.
It is noted that operational services are checking information about the crash of an Il-76 military transport aircraft in the Belgorod region. Preliminarily, the plane could have crashed near the Kryvoy farm.
Instead, the governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said that an investigative team and emergency services are currently working at the scene. However, he did not provide details. Later, Gladkov confirmed the crash and added that it occurred in a field near the village.
"Everyone on board was killed. The crash site is currently cordoned off. All operational services are on site, and investigative measures are underway. A commission is on its way to establish the causes of the crash," the governor wrote.
In addition, the Russian 112 TV channel reported, citing its own sources, that there were allegedly 63 people on board the plane. All of them died. At the same time, Russia's propaganda state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, that there were allegedly Ukrainian prisoners of war on board, who were being transported to the Belgorod region for exchange.
Ukrainian Armed Forces' General Staff shares statement amid Russian information about the downing of IL-76
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces are taking all measures to protect Ukraine and Ukrainians. The enemy's inability to achieve any results on the battlefield continues its strategy of terror, including in the Kharkiv sector. We see the use of missile attacks to destroy Kharkiv and kill civilians in other cities of Ukraine," the General Staff writes.
The report emphasizes that over the past week alone, Russia has launched 19 missile attacks on the Kharkiv region. They used: 26 S-300 missiles and 3 Iskander-M ballistic missiles. As a result, 16 people were killed, including one child. 78 people were injured. 13 buildings were destroyed, including one hospital, three educational institutions, and six residential buildings.
"To reduce the missile threat, the Armed Forces of Ukraine not only control the airspace, but also closely monitor missile launch points and the logistics of their supply, especially with the use of military transport aircraft. The recorded intensity of the attacks is directly related to the increase in the number of military transport aircraft that have recently been flying to the Belgorod airfield. With this in mind, the Armed Forces will continue to take measures to destroy delivery aircraft and control the airspace to eliminate the terrorist threat, including on the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction," the statement says.
Ukraine's military intelligence statement: POW exchange had to take place on January 24
"The exchange of prisoners of war was supposed to take place today, but it did not take place. According to the Russian side, this happened as a result of the downing of a Russian Il-76 aircraft, which was allegedly transporting our prisoners," the intelligence noted.
The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU) emphasized that they currently do not have reliable and comprehensive information about who was on board the plane and in what quantity.
"For its part, Ukraine has fulfilled all the agreements to prepare the exchange. The Russian captured servicemen were delivered on time to the agreed point for the exchange, where they were safe. The security of our defenders, according to the agreements, was to be ensured by the Russian side. At the same time, the Ukrainian side was not informed about the need to ensure the security of the airspace near the city of Belgorod within a certain period of time, as it has been done many times in the past," the statement says.
The agency added that Ukraine was not informed about the number of vehicles, routes and forms of delivery of prisoners of war.
"It is known that prisoners are delivered by air, rail and road transport. This may indicate Russia's deliberate actions aimed at endangering the lives and safety of prisoners. Landing a transport aircraft in a 30-kilometer combat zone cannot be safe and should be discussed by both sides in any case, as otherwise it jeopardizes the entire exchange process. Based on this, we may be talking about planned and deliberate actions of the Russian Federation to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and weaken international support for our country," the DIU concluded.
According to Ukrainska Pravda, which cites its own sources, the plane could have been carrying S-300 missiles.
In a comment to Suspilne, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense noted that they are "still looking into the matter."
At the same time, the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War commented on the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry about the downing of the plane and called for refraining from disseminating unverified information before the release of official statements.
"The Coordination Headquarters and other specialized structures are collecting and analyzing all the necessary information. We urge the media and citizens to refrain from disseminating unverified information until official statements or comments are made public by authorized persons or bodies," the statement said.
Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets also confirmed the downing of the plane. According to him, he is investigating all the details of the incident and analyzing the information received.
"I urge media representatives and citizens of Ukraine not to make premature conclusions and to trust only official sources. I also ask them not to spread false information," Lubinets wrote.