A Russian IL-76 transport aircraft crashed in Belgorod Oblast carrying 65 Ukrainian PoW

A Russian military transport plane — an Ilyushin Il-76 — has crashed in the border Belgorod region, according to Russian media outlets.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reportedly said the aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war ahead of a prisoner swap, and nine Russians. One Russian lawmaker said the plane was shot down by three missiles of types that the West has supplied to Ukraine.

Sources in the Ukrainian forces confirmed to Ukrainska Pravda that the crash “was their job” but said the aircraft was carrying S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

At least 63 feared dead as Russian Il-76 military plane crashes in massive fireball near border with Ukraine,

A Russian military transport plane — an Ilyushin Il-76 — crashed in the border Belgorod region, according to four pro-Kremlin media outlets cited by Reuters.

The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said on Telegram that there had been an “incident” in the Korochansky district of Belgorod, a region in southwestern Russia that has become increasingly a target of Ukrainian attacks.

“An investigative team and Emergency Situations Ministry employees are currently working at the scene. I changed my work schedule and went to the area. All details later,” Gladkov said.

Russian state news agency TASS reported that a “plane crashed in the Belgorod region, doctors and law enforcement officers rushed to the scene, operational services reported.” It did not provide any further detail.

Gladkov warned Belgorod residents to stay indoors earlier Wednesday amid a missile alert over the region. News agency RIA Novosti reported earlier that the Russian military had intercepted a Ukrainian drone in the village of Blizhnoe near Belgorod. According to preliminary information, there were no casualties.

The Russian Ministry of Defense reportedly said an Il-76 military transport aircraft that crashed in the border Belgorod region was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war and nine Russians.

“On January 24, at about 11:00 Moscow time, an Il-76 plane crashed during a scheduled flight in the Belgorod region. On board there were 65 captured military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine transported to the Belgorod region for exchange, 6 crew members of the aircraft and 3 accompanying persons,” the Ministry of Defense said, Interfax news agency said.

The Il-76 military transport aircraft is designed for transporting personnel, cargo and military equipment and is capable of carrying 126 paratroopers with parachutes, 145 personnel in a single-deck version and 225 in a double-deck version, news agency Interfax noted.

Its maximum payload is 48 tons and its flight range with a load of 40 tons is 4750 km. It can carry a crew of up to seven people.

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