Russia opens ‘terrorism’ probe into military plane crash

Russia opens ‘terrorism’ probe into military plane crash
Russia opens ‘terrorism’ probe into military plane crash

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - In this screen grab taken from a handout footage released by the Russian Investigative Committee on January 25, 2024, an investigator works at the Russian IL-76 military transport plane crash site in the Belgorod region. — AFP pic/Russian Investigative Committee

MOSCOW, Jan 26 — Russia on yesterday opened a “terrorism” investigation over a military plane crash near the border with Ukraine after it accused Kyiv of downing the aircraft, which it said had more than 60 captured Ukrainian soldiers onboard.

The Russian defence and foreign ministries have blamed Ukrainian forces for downing the IL-76 transport plane over the southern Belgorod region on Wednesday.

“A criminal case under a terrorist act is being investigated in the Belgorod region on the Il-76 plane,” Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said in a statement.

Moscow said there were no survivors among the 65 Ukrainian POWs, three crew members and three military personnel onboard.

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The Investigative Committee said “experienced detectives, criminalists and experts” were working at the scene, adding that “the plane was downed by a “missile from the territory of Ukraine”.

“Fragmented remains of people were found, as well as the flight recorders of the aircraft, which were sent for decoding,” it said.

The Committee also said it was working to identify “persons among the Ukrainian armed forces” that it said were behind the crash.

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Moscow has not provided any public images or evidence that Ukrainian soldiers were onboard, or shown proof that Kyiv knew its men were on the plane.

It has also not revealed the identities of the people onboard. — AFP

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