A plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners has crashed in Russia. The accident occurred at around 11 am Russian time in the western Belgorod region. There were 65 prisoners present in this plane. This is Russia's IL-76 military transport aircraft. It is being claimed in media reports that all the prisoners on board the plane have died. However this could not be confirmed.
In a video released by RT India, a Russian military transport plane can be seen suddenly descending rapidly and crashing at a distance from a small refinery. This aircraft was Lushin IL-76 and its length was 164 feet. The plane caught fire after the crash.
The RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Russia's Defense Ministry as saying that the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian soldiers who had previously been taken prisoner. They were being released under the agreement in exchange for the release of Russian soldiers. This exchange was to take place on the Ukraine border. There were also 6 crew members and 3 escorts on board the aircraft.
In the beginning of January, the biggest prisoner exchange in the 23-month long war between the two countries took place. This prisoner exchange took place under the mediation and monitoring of UAE officials. During this period, Russia had released 230 Ukrainian citizens and Ukraine had released 248 Russian prisoners. This was the 48th prisoner exchange between the two countries during the war.
In 2016 also, a Russian military plane crashed. There were about 39 people on board the Defense Ministry's II-18 plane. Of these, 16 people were seriously injured.
It is a four-engine strategic airlifter aircraft. It can carry weight up to 40 thousand kilograms at one time. It has three variants. This aircraft made in Russia is used to transport relief material and a large number of people. The air forces of Russia, Ukraine, India and Libya also use this aircraft.