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The Russian Ministry of Defence reported that a plane carrying 65 captured Ukrainian military personnel was en route to the Belgorod region for a potential prisoner exchange.

However, the details concerning those on board remain unverified independently.

According to the Ria Novosti news agency, there were an additional nine individuals on the plane, including six crew members.

In contrast, Ukraine’s general staff, as cited by the Ukrainska Pravda website, stated that the aircraft was transporting missiles intended for Russia’s S-300 air defence systems, with no reference to the presence of prisoners of war.

Russia’s defense ministry has attributed the downing of an Ilyushin-76 transport plane in the Belgorod region on Wednesday to Ukraine.

According to Moscow, Kyiv used an anti-aircraft missile system to bring down the aircraft. Despite Russian officials reporting these claims shortly after the crash, Kyiv has not yet issued a response.

The most recent statement from Russia’s Defense Ministry alleges, “Today, at 11:15 a.m., the Kyiv regime committed a terrorist act, resulting in the shooting down of a Russian military transport aircraft en route from Chkalovsky to Belgorod airfield for the exchange of Ukrainian military personnel.

The plane was destroyed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the area of Liptsy, Kharkiv region, using an anti-aircraft missile system,” the ministry stated. “The radar equipment of the Russian Aerospace Forces recorded the launch of two Ukrainian missiles.”

This is a developing story that will be updated when more information is available.