Russian state media has reported that an Ilyushin Il-76 military transport aircraft has crashed in the Russian southern region of Belgorod today.
State media reports have claimed that the heavy transport aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war at the time of the accident. Six crewmembers and three other personnel were accompanying the transportation, according to Russian reports.
In conflicting claims, news surfacing from Ukraine sources alleges that the aircraft had been shot down by Ukrainian defence forces, and had been carrying a shipment of anti-aircraft missiles.
According to an Al Jazeera report, the aircraft came down in the Korochansky district, to the north-east of the regional capital.
Confirming the crash, the Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov posted the following to a Telegram channel: “Now an investigation team and emergency services are working on the site. I have changed my working schedule and travelled to the district.”
The Russian Defence Ministry has advised that an investigation is underway and reported that a special military commission was making its way to the crash site.
Video footage which has surfaced on social media has captured the final moments of the heavy transport aircraft’s descent, and shows a large fireball rising at the time of impact.
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