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teleSUR/ JF

26 янв. 2024 г.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine knew its prisoners would be transported to Belgorod for an exchange.

The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that Ukraine launched two missiles at an Il-76 military transport aircraft, killing all 74 people on board.

"Today at 11:15 a.m., the Kiev regime committed a terrorist act, as a result of which a Russian military transport aircraft was shot down," the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that all passengers on board were killed.

"The Ukrainian armed forces destroyed the plane... with the use of an anti-aircraft missile system," it pointed out, adding that the Russian radar equipment detected the launch of two Ukrainian missiles.

The aircraft was hit on its way from the Chkalovsky airfield to Belgorod while it was transporting Ukrainian military personnel for a prisoner exchange.

There were 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers onboard the IL-76 for a prisoner-of-war swap that had been agreed on between Moscow and Kiev. Other passengers included six aircraft crew members and three accompanying persons.

On Thursday, Russia unveiled the names of the killed crew members of the military aircraft that was shot down. The Il-76 that crashed in the Belgorod region was controlled by a crew from the Orenburg region.

After the incident took place, a Russian air forces commission flew to the crash site to establish the cause of the disaster. State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin instructed lawmakers to prepare an appeal to the U.S. Congress and Germany's Bundestag in connection with the plane crash to show foreign governments how Kiev is using their military assistance.

"There is a proposal to investigate what missiles and launchers were used. Let's prepare an appeal to the U.S. Congress and the German Bundestag so that the deputies can finally see who they are funding and helping," he said.

On Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia has called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council after the downing of the plane. Moscow requested a meeting for 3 p.m. New York Time. But the meeting has not been scheduled accordingly.

Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine's military intelligence, said that the Ukrainian side is checking reports that Ukrainian captives were onboard the Il-76 plane. He also said that the prisoner exchange with Russia had been canceled.

The Ukrainian military intelligence service HUR is currently trying to determine the fate of the dozens of Ukrainian prisoners who, according to Moscow, were on board the plane, Zelensky said in his evening address on Wednesday.

"I have instructed the Foreign Affairs Ministry to provide our partners with the information available to Ukraine. Our state will insist on an international investigation," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

"It is obvious that the Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners, with the feelings of their relatives and with the emotions of our society," he added.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine knew its prisoners would be transported to Belgorod for an exchange based on an agreement previously reached between the two sides. Kiev's move was an attempt to blame Russia for the deaths of the Ukrainian military personnel on board, said the Russian statement.

"They shot their own soldiers in the air. Their mothers, wives and children were waiting... the pilots of our military transport aircraft, who were carrying out a humanitarian mission, were shot at... with U.S. and German missiles," Volodin said.

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