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Russian IL-76 aircraft crashes in Belgorod Oblast, Russia claims it carried Ukrainian POWs

A Russian IL-76 military cargo plane crashed in Belgorod Oblast, with Russia’s Defense Ministry claiming it carried 65 Ukrainian POWs.
Russian Ilyushin IL-76MD strategic airlifter. Illustrative photo: Wikimedia Commons
Russian IL-76 aircraft crashes in Belgorod Oblast, Russia claims it carried Ukrainian POWs

On 24 January, the Russian IL-76 military cargo aircraft crashed in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, according to Russian Telegram channels. Russia’s Defense Ministry claims the IL-76 was carrying 65 Ukrainian POWs.

The Russian news Telegram channel 112 was among the first to report on the incident, which reportedly occurred in the Korochansky district of Belgorod Oblast. The channel’s later update claimed that there were 63 people on board the military plane, all of whom died in the crash.

Russia claims the IL carried Ukrainian POWs

Russian state-funded news agency RIA Novosti, citing the Russian Ministry of Defense, reported that the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, who were being transported to Belgorod Oblast for exchange, six crew members, and three escorts.

Ukraine hasn’t made official statements yet

Ukrinform says Ukraine’s Air Force has not yet commented on the reports about the crash of the IL-76 in the Korochansky district of Belgorod Oblast, but promised to provide its comments later.

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine told public broadcaster Suspilne that they could not confirm that the plane had been shot down by the Ukrainian Defence Forces, as they were “still clarifying the information.”

Ukrinform says the plane was carrying surface-to-air missiles for the S-300 systems, referring to its Ukrainian Army sources.

Russia is extensively using the S-300 ballistic missiles in its secondary ground attack role, often targeting Kharkiv City and other border areas.

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