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Friday, May 24, 2024

Carrying Ukrainian prisoners, Russian Military’s plan crashed

The total number of individuals on board was 74, including six crew members and three guards.

On Wednesday, a military transport plane, the Russian Ilyushin Il-76, crashed near the Ukrainian border. The defense ministry, as quoted by the state news agency RIA, stated that the aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, intended for exchange with Russian captives. The total number of individuals on board was 74, including six crew members and three guards. The cause of the crash remains unknown at this time.

The official Ukrainian information service reported that the crashed IL-76, which occurred in Belgorod, was transporting missiles for the S-300 air defense system, citing a source in the Ukrainian armed forces. During a parliamentary session, Andrei Kartapolov, a retired general and lawmaker in Russia’s parliament, claimed that the plane had been shot down by three missiles, without specifying the source of his information.

Local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov mentioned an “incident” in the Korochansky district, northeast of Belgorod city, and stated his intention to inspect the site. He noted that investigators and emergency workers were already present. The IL-76 is designed for military transport purposes, capable of airlifting troops, cargo, military equipment, and weapons, typically with a crew of five and a capacity for up to 90 passengers.

 Buildings remained unaffected 

In response to a reporter’s question, the Kremlin stated that it is investigating the situation. The Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, has faced frequent attacks, including a December missile strike that resulted in 25 casualties. According to a local cleric, the crash did not cause damage to the village, as it occurred in a field outside of it.

Reverend Georgy, the rector of the Dimitri Solunsky church in Yablonovo, mentioned that the church building and the local school were unaffected by the crash. Amid icy weather, the front line of the conflict between Kremlin forces and Ukraine has remained largely static for 700 days. Both sides are focused on replenishing their weapons stockpiles, and recent hostilities have involved long-range strikes.

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Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that a major Russian missile attack on Tuesday resulted in 18 deaths and 130 injuries. The barrage, utilizing over 40 ballistic, cruise, anti-aircraft, and guided missiles, targeted 130 residential buildings in three Ukrainian cities, as conveyed by Zelenskyy on X, formerly known as Twitter.