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Zelenskyy reacts to Il-76 aircraft crash: Top brass convened for investigation

Zelenskyy reacts to Il-76 aircraft crash: Top brass convened for investigation President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian captives, the emotions of their families, and the sentiments of our society, says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address.

"I called Umerov, Zaluzhnyi, Shaptala, Budanov, and Maliuk - they reported on the situation with the plane and the exchange. Obviously, the Russians are playing with the lives of Ukrainian captives, with the feelings of their families, and with the emotions of our society," says Zelenskyy.

According to him, it is necessary to establish all the clear facts, as much as possible given that the plane crash occurred on Russian territory - beyond our control.

"'Facts' are the keyword now. I have listened to the Commander-in-Chief and the Chief of the General Staff regarding the use of the Air Force. The Defense Intelligence is clarifying the fate of all captives. The Security Service of Ukraine is investigating all circumstances. And I have instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to inform our partners about the available data in Ukraine. Our state will insist on an international investigation," he adds.

Crash of Il-76 in the Belgorod region, Russia

On January 24, it became known that a military transport aircraft Il-76 crashed in the Korocha district of the Belgorod region, Russia. Sources from RBC-Ukraine report that the aircraft was transporting missiles for the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system.

Russia claims that there were 65 captured Ukrainian military personnel, six crew members, and three escorts on the plane. Russians accuse Ukraine of shooting down the aircraft.

Ukraine responded to Russia's statements, urging Ukrainians not to spread unverified information until official statements are made.

Later, a statement from the General Staff was issued in the context of information about the Il-76 crash near Belgorod. The statement mentioned that the Armed Forces of Ukraine would continue to take measures to control the airspace in the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction.

The Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense stated that the planned exchange of prisoners of war for today did not take place, although the Ukrainian side fulfilled its part of the agreements.

Intelligence also noted that, according to the agreements, the Russian side was supposed to ensure the safety of Ukrainian defenders.

For further information on the incident, you can read RBC-Ukraine's material.