Russia says Ukraine shot down a military plane, and all 74 people on board, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners, died

By echonewshub 2 Min Read

The plane was heading to Belgorod for a planned exchange when it was attacked in what Russia calls a “terrorist act.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Ilyushin Il-76 plane, on a scheduled flight near the border, was hit by a missile. The statement mentioned six crew members, 65 Ukrainian soldiers for the exchange, and three Russian military personnel, all of whom died.

The ministry said Russian radar saw two Ukrainian missiles, claiming Ukraine’s government knew about the regular military flights before prisoner swaps.

Ukrainian officials warned against sharing unconfirmed info, saying the enemy is spreading misleading details, according to Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s military intelligence, confirmed the planned exchange but said it didn’t happen as scheduled. Both countries usually exchange prisoners amid conflicts in Ukraine’s east and south.

Andrey Kartapolov, head of the Russian parliament’s defense committee, claimed three air defense missiles supplied to Ukraine by Western allies brought down the plane. He said Ukraine’s leaders knew about the exchange but didn’t say where he got the information.

Related: Russian Youth Turn to Railway Sabotage as a Form of Protest Amid Ukraine War, UK Intelligence Reveals

In recent weeks, there have been more attacks on western Russian areas, including Belgorod. Russia blames Kyiv for the strikes, but Ukraine rarely admits to attacking Russia. However, bigger strikes on Russia usually follow heavy attacks on Ukrainian cities.

Belgorod, the biggest Russian city near the border, has about 340,000 people and is around 60 miles north of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.

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