Dozens of POWs Aboard Plane That Crashed in Russia

The Russian War on Ukraine is approximately a month away from its two-year anniversary. The war is still raging as much as it was the day of the invasion. Recently, dozens of people died in a plane crash.

On January 24, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of shooting down a transport plane. According to officials, the aircraft was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war who were being transferred to the Belgorod region. There, the prisoners were supposed to be exchanged for Russian military personnel. There were also six Russian crew members and three escorts on the Il-76 plane.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, the governor of Belgorod, said the plane crashed into a field near a residential neighborhood, and everyone on the plane died.

The Russian ministry claimed that Ukrainian officials were “well aware” that the POWs were going to be transported by military plane to the airfield where they would be exchanged. The Kremlin officials went on to say Ukraine had shown “its true face” by “committing this terrorist act.” Worse, the ministry claimed the country had “disregarded the lives of its own citizens.”

The military swap was one of many that have taken place throughout the war. It was supposed to happen at a border checkpoint that afternoon.

BBC reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “playing with the lives of Ukrainian prisoners.” He demanded an international investigation into the crash. Ukraine’s military intelligence (GUR) reportedly stated Russia did not inform the country that it should make sure the airspace was safe like it had before previous exchanges. The GUR also said the crash might have been “planned and deliberate” by Moscow.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, hit back, saying the downing of the plane was a “monstrous act” and that an international investigation into Kyiv’s criminal actions was absolutely needed.

The identities of those on board have not been released yet.