Russian Personnel Jet Brought Down, Kiev-Moscow Fight Over What Was In It

A military plane crashed in Russia’s Belgorod region on Friday, killing all nine people onboard.

The plane, an IL-76, was carrying missiles for the S-300 air defense system, according to the official Ukrainian information service, CNN reported.

However, Russian officials claimed that the plane was carrying Ukrainian servicemen and that the crash may have been caused by Ukrainian forces.

The head of the Russian Parliament’s defense committee, Andrey Kartapolov, said that a second military plane, also an IL-76, was carrying 80 prisoners of war for an upcoming exchange when it was diverted due to the crash. He also claimed that the Ukrainian leadership was aware of the exchange and how the prisoners would be delivered.

Kartapolov alleged that the plane was shot down by three missiles, which could have been from anti-aircraft missile systems, the Patriot, or German-made IRIS. However, CNN cannot verify these claims, and Ukraine has not commented on Russia’s allegations of its involvement in the incident.

The crash adds to the already tense relationship between Russia and Ukraine, who have been in conflict since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. The two countries have been engaged in a prisoner exchange, which was reportedly scheduled to take place in the near future.

The IL-76 is a workhorse of the Russian military and has been used extensively in conflict zones around the world. It can carry up to 70 troops or a maximum payload of 60 tons, making it a versatile transport option for military forces.

Investigations into the crash are ongoing, and it is still unclear what caused the plane to go down. As the situation develops, tensions between Russia and Ukraine could continue to escalate. The international community will be watching closely to see how the two sides handle the aftermath of this tragic incident.