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FACTBOX: Il-76 plane carrying Ukrainian captives crashes near Belgorod

The Il-76 crashed at about 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (8:00 a.m. GMT)

MOSCOW, January 24. /TASS/. An Il-76 military plane crashed in the Belgorod Region. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 74 individuals were on board, including 65 Ukrainian captives.

TASS has gathered the key information about the incident.

What happened

- The Il-76 crashed at about 11:00 a.m. Moscow time (8:00 a.m. GMT). There were 65 Ukrainian prisoners on board, who were being carried for an exchange. Besides, six crew members and three accompanying people were on the plane.

- The plane crashed five to six kilometers away from the village of Yablonovo in the Korocha District of Russia’s borderline Belgorod Region, a local priest told TASS. According to him, the crash caused no damage on the ground.

- The causes of the disaster have not been officially announced yet.

Work at the scene

- A team of investigators and Emergencies Ministry employees are currently working at the scene, the governor of Russia’s borderline Belgorod Region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, has reported. He said that he had also departed for the Korocha district.

- The region's operational services told TASS that ambulance crews, firefighters and police officers have been sent to the site of the plane crash.

- A commission from the Russian Aerospace Forces is on its way to the region to investigate the causes of the crash.

Authorities' response

- Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that he could not yet comment on reports about the crash. "I can't comment on the issue, it's fairly new, fresh information, we will deal with it now," he said.

- The head of the State Duma’s Defense Committee, Andrey Kartapolov, said that the plane could have been shot down by the Ukrainian Armed Forces using missiles of the US Patriot surface-to-air missile system or the German IRIS-T.

- State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin proposed to prepare an appeal to the US Congress and the German Bundestag to find out what missiles could have caused the crash of the IL-76 airplane.

- Head of the State Duma’s Committee on International Affairs and LDPR leader Leonid Slutsky said this is "not the first time the Ukrainian military has hit its own" and added that the authorities in Washington and Brussels were equally responsible for the "shooting of prisoners of war in the air."