Russian military plane with 74 people on board crashes in

Russian military plane with 74 people on board crashes in Belgorod region – CNN

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Videograb shows an explosion after the plane crash in the southern Belgorod region.


A Russian military plane with 74 people on board crashed in the border region of Belgorod, officials said, according to media reports.

Russian news agencies reported, citing the Defense Ministry, that there were 65 Ukrainian soldiers on board who were being flown to Belgorod in advance of a prisoner exchange. CNN cannot independently verify this claim.

There were also six crew members and three “escort personnel” on board the IL-76 cargo plane. No information has yet been given about the cause of the crash.

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The Kremlin declined to comment on the reported crash. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “This is fairly new information, we will deal with it now. “I can't say anything yet.”

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said: “An investigative team and employees of the Emergencies Ministry are currently deployed on site.” I changed my work schedule and went to the area. Full details later.”

Gladkov said the “incident” occurred in the Korochansky district of the Belgorod region, northeast of the city of Belgorod.

The border town of Belgorod was the scene of one of the deadliest Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil late last year. The attacks killed at least 24 people, including three children, and injured 108 others, prompting Russian retaliation in Ukraine's Kharkiv region.

The plane crash comes as Russia's war in Ukraine enters its third year, with little progress on the battlefield on either side in recent months. Assessments by Western intelligence agencies warn that movement on the battlefield could continue to stagnate this year.

Kiev and Moscow exchanged prisoners of war during the conflict. The largest exchange took place in early January, when both sides exchanged over 200 prisoners each.

This is a developing story and will be updated.