Military plane crashes in Belgorod: exchange of accusations between Moscow and Kiev. LIVE

The US cannot confirm reports that a Russian Il-76 military transport aircraft that crashed in the Belgorod region was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war. This was said by National Security Council coordinator John Kirby in a briefing, according to the Ukrinform correspondent. “We have seen the reports but are unable to confirm them,” he said when asked to comment on Russia's claims that Ukraine shot down a military transport plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war. Kirby also added that the United States would do its best to get more clarity and more information about the Russian plane crash. According to Russian Telegram channels, the Il-76 aircraft used to transport equipment and troops crashed today in the Belgorod region. Russian media reported that there were 63 people on board the plane and all of them died. Sources in the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that this aircraft was carrying a load of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. The Russian army uses these missiles for massive bombings of the Kharkiv region and other Ukrainian regions bordering Russia. At the same time, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine said that a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia was planned for January 24, but it did not take place. Subsequently, the intelligence service added that Russia did not inform Ukraine about the need to ensure the safety of airspace in the area of ​​​​the city of Belgorod as part of the preparations for the prisoner exchange in a certain period of time, as it has already done several times in the past . This could be a sign that Russia is acting deliberately and aims to endanger the lives and safety of prisoners of war.