All 74 passengers dead – “The plane was destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the Liptsy region, Kharkiv region, using an anti-aircraft missile system,” the Ministry of Defense said.
Two Ukrainian missiles claims to have detected Russian Defense Ministry radars when the Il-76 transport plane crashed earlier today in the Belgorod region with 74 people on board. Authorities said all 74 people on board were killed, 65 of whom Moscow said were Ukrainian prisoners of war who were to be exchanged for Russian prisoners.
“The plane was destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the Liptsy regionin the Kharkiv region, using an anti-aircraft missile system”, the Ministry of Defense said. “Radar equipment of the Russian Aerospace Forces observed the launch of two Ukrainian missiles,” he added.
Alongside, blames Ukraine for “neglect of the lives of its citizens” and says that the exchange was agreed for the afternoon at the Kolotilovka checkpoint on the Russian-Ukrainian border. The Ukrainian leadership knew that Ukrainian military personnel would be transported by military transport aircraft, the Russians added.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense said: “At approximately 11:00 Moscow time (10:00 Greek time) an Il-76 aircraft crashed in the Belgorod region (…) It was carrying 65 captured soldiers of the Ukrainian army who were being transported to the Belgorod region for a (prisoner) exchange, six members of the crew and three attendants’ the ministry had announced a little earlier.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces deny ithowever, the information that there were Ukrainian prisoners on board and they claim that the aircraft was carrying S-300 air defense missiles.
“A committee of the Air Force has left for the place where the plane fell in order to ascertain the causes of the disaster”he had added.
Already the speaker of the Russian Duma Vyacheslav Volodin accused Kiev of shooting down the plane using US and German missilesoffering no evidence for this claim.
Similar view also expressed the Russian parliamentarian and retired general Andrei Kartapolovnoting that the aircraft was hit by three missiles.
“The Ukrainian leaders knew very well about the impending exchange and had been informed of the manner in which the captives would be delivered”he added.
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