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Russia says a transport aircraft has crashed and that 65 Ukrainian POWs had been on board

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A army transport aircraft that Russia mentioned was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of conflict crashed Wednesday in a Russian area close to Ukraine.

All these aboard had been killed, in line with Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov of the Belgorod area, the place the aircraft went down. It wasn’t instantly clear what prompted the crash. Gladkov didn’t specify how many individuals had been on the aircraft or who they had been.

The Related Press couldn’t affirm who was aboard the aircraft, and Ukrainian officers cautioned in opposition to sharing unverified data.

Russian state information company RIA Novosti, citing the ministry, reported that the POWs had been being transported to the border area for a prisoner trade.

Footage of the crash posted on social media confirmed a aircraft falling from the sky in a snowy, rural space, and a large ball of fireside erupting the place it apparently hit the bottom.

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Firefighters, ambulances and police rushed to the positioning of the crash within the Korochansky district of Belgorod, state information company Tass mentioned, citing a neighborhood emergency companies official.

Two senior Russian lawmakers alleged, with out offering proof, that the aircraft was introduced down by missiles launched by Ukrainian forces.

Shortly earlier than the crash, Vyacheslav Gladkov, Belgorod’s governor, mentioned on his Telegram channel {that a} “missile alert” had been triggered within the area and warned residents to take shelter.

Ukraine’s Coordination Headquarters for the Therapy of Prisoners of Struggle mentioned it was trying into the crash however didn’t instantly present any data. As an alternative, it cautioned in opposition to sharing “unverified data.”

“We emphasize that the enemy is actively conducting data particular operations in opposition to Ukraine aimed toward destabilizing Ukrainian society,” it mentioned in an announcement on Telegram.

A particular army fee was on the best way to the crash website, in line with the Russian Protection Ministry, which mentioned that, along with the POWs, three individuals accompanying them and 6 crew had been on board.

Talking on his morning name with reporters, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov mentioned he couldn’t touch upon the crash as he didn’t have sufficient details about it.

The aircraft is designed to airlift troops, cargo, army tools and weapons. It may well carry as much as 225 troops, in line with Russia’s army export company.

The Russian air power has suffered a string of crashes that some observers have attributed to a better variety of flights amid the preventing in Ukraine.

Seven hundred days after the Kremlin’s forces rolled into Ukraine, the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) entrance line largely static amid icy climate. As either side search to replenish their weapons stockpiles, the conflict just lately has centered on long-range strikes.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned a serious Russian missile assault on Tuesday had killed 18 individuals and injured 130.

The barrage, using greater than 40 ballistic, cruise, anti-aircraft and guided missiles hit 130 residential buildings in three Ukrainian cities, “all extraordinary homes,” Zelenskyy mentioned on X, previously Twitter.

Russia’s onslaught, which included targets within the capital Kyiv and second-largest metropolis Kharkiv, was the heaviest in weeks and lent weight to Zelenskyy’s appeals for Western allies to supply extra army help.

“This 12 months, the primary precedence is to strengthen air protection to guard our cities and cities, in addition to defend frontline positions,” Zelenskyy mentioned on X late Tuesday.

Analysts say Russia stockpiled missiles to pursue a winter marketing campaign of aerial bombardment, whereas Ukraine has sought to strike inside Russia with new varieties of drones.

Russia could have employed decoy missiles in Tuesday’s assault in an effort to open up holes in Ukraine’s air defenses, a U.S. assume tank mentioned.

The Washington-based Institute for the Research of Struggle mentioned Moscow is probably going attempting to accumulate extra ballistic missiles from international international locations, together with Iran and North Korea, as a result of they could be simpler in some circumstances.

An extra barrage of Russian S-300 missiles struck residential districts of Kharkiv late Tuesday, injuring 9 individuals and damaging residential buildings, regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov mentioned.

Russia denies its forces strike civilian areas, though there may be substantial proof on the contrary.

In the meantime, the Russian Protection Ministry mentioned that air defenses shot down 4 Ukrainian drones over the Oryol area of western Russia early Wednesday.

Oryol Mayor Yuri Parakhin mentioned that a number of drones had been downed over the town. He mentioned there have been no casualties, however home windows had been shattered in a number of residence buildings within the metropolis.

One other Ukrainian drone was downed early Wednesday over the Belgorod border area, in line with regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov. He mentioned there have been no casualties or harm.

Ukraine’s allies have promised to maintain sending army help packages, though their sources are stretched. Assist from america, by far Ukraine’s single greatest supplier, has additionally hit political snags.

The German protection ministry introduced Wednesday that it plans to ship six SEA KING Mk41 multi-role helicopters from Bundeswehr shares to Ukraine.

For the reason that starting of the conflict army deliveries from Germany have amounted to round 6 billion euros ($6.52 billion), together with substantial anti-aircraft and air protection programs, the federal government mentioned.


This story has been up to date to right that Zelenskyy spoke in regards to the missile strike dying toll late Tuesday, not Wednesday.


Observe AP’s protection of the conflict in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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