A Russian Ilyushin IL-76 military transport plane crashed near the Ukrainian border on January 24, 2024 and state news agency RIA quoted the defence ministry as saying that it was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war to be exchanged for Russian captives.
The plane was carrying 74 people, including six crew and three guards when it crashed, the RIA cited the defence ministry as saying. There was no immediate information on the cause.
Andrei Kartapolov, a lawmaker in Russian parliament and a retired general said, during a parliamentary session that the plane had been shot down by three missiles. He did not say what the source of his information was. An international news agency could not immediately verify details of who was on onboard, but Russia and Ukraine regularly swap prisoners of war.
The defence ministry of Ukraine along with its air force could not immediately verify the details of who was on board, but Russia and Ukraine regularly swap prisoners of war The Ukrainian Defence Ministry and the air force did not immediately reply to requests for the comment. A video posted on Telegram messenger app by Baza, a channel linked to Russian security services and verified by an international media agency showed a large aircraft falling towards the ground near the village of Yablonovo in the Belgorod region and exploding into a vast fireball.
The local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that an unspecified incident had occurred in the region’s Korochansky district, northeast of Belgorod city and that he was going to inspect the site. He said investigators and emergency workers were already on the scene. In a response to a reporter’s question that it was looking into a situation. Belgorod region which borders Ukraine has come under frequent attack from Ukraine in recent months, including missile strike which killed 25 people.
All About IL-76
The IL-76 is a military transport aircraft designed to airlift troops, cargo, military equipment and weapons such as tanks, howitzers and ammunition. It has been built by Ilyushin and was inducted into service in 1970’s when the USSR existed. The aircraft was designed to replace the An-12 (Antonov-12). It also has a civilian version too It usually has a crew of five and can carry up to 90 passengers. The transport fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) utilizes this aircraft. However, the IL-76 fleet in the Indian Air Force is limited and ageing and it will be gradually replaced by the US built C-17 Globemaster III and C-130J Hercules that are US based.