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Updated January 24th, 2024 at 20:32 IST

Ilyushin II-76 Plane Shot Down by Ukraine With 3 Iris-T Missiles: Russian Defense Committee Chair

The plane was shot down using three German-made missiles of the Patriot or Iris-T air defense systems of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, claimed Russian minister.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Russia plane crash Belgorod Ukraine POWs
Screengrab from video posted to social media shows flames rising from the scene of a plane crash near Yablonovo, in Russia's Belgorod region. | Image:X
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Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Andrey Kartapolov, on Wednesday claimed that Ukraine was aware of the planned exchange of POWs. He added that the Ilyushin Il-76 of the Russian Air Force plane was shot down using three German-made missiles of the Patriot or Iris-T air defense systems of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kartapolov claimed that there was another Ilyushin Il-76 of the Russian Air Force with 80 captured soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine — “fortunately, they managed to turn the aircraft around in time.”  Russian Defense Ministry also claimed in a statement that the plane was shot down by the Ukrainian Armed Forces while it was in the sky transporting the POWs. 

Russian Ministry of Defense: Il-76 crashed at about 11.00 in the Belgorod region. On board the fallen Il-76 there were 65 captured military personnel #Russian|#Russia #planecrashpic.twitter.com/43UKHreUnz

— Hareem Shah (@Hareem_shah1122) January 24, 2024

POWs were being transferred for the subsequent swap with Kyiv

The aircraft of the Russian Air Force crashed early on Wednesday with the Ukrainian POWs onboard. Russian Defense Ministry, in a statement, said that the plane was carrying Ukrainian soldiers who were captured in the ongoing war and they were being transferred to the region for a subsequent swap with Kyiv. Conflicting reports emerged claiming that the plane was transporting missiles. It wasn’t It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the plane to go down. 

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said, "Today, at 11:15 a.m., the Kyiv regime committed a terrorist act as a result of which a Russian military transport aircraft was shot down, flying along the route Chkalovsky-Belgorod airfield to transport Ukrainian military personnel for exchange." It added, "plane was destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the area of Liptsy, Kharkiv region, using an anti-aircraft missile system. The radar equipment of the Russian Aerospace Forces observed the launch of two Ukrainian missiles."

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, citing the Russian Defense Ministry, confirmed that there were POWs on the plane who were being transported to the border region for a prisoner exchange with Kyiv. Footages circulating on social media showed the plane falling from the sky in a snowy, rural area. A massive flame erupted as the aircraft hit the ground. There are no survivors, according to the governor of Belgorod.

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Ukraine, so far, has not made any offiial comments on the crash.

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Published January 24th, 2024 at 20:02 IST

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