Moscow demands an international investigation into the Kiev regime’s attack on a Russian Il-76 aircraft which carried Ukrainian POWs for a swap, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview with TASS.
“Nobody has any doubt that the attack on the Il-76 was carried out by the regime of [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky. Kiev was well aware that the plane was transporting Ukrainian servicemen for an exchange. Russia insists on holding an international investigation so that experts can evaluate the current evidence that the aircraft was shot down with the US-made MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) system from a specific location and at a specific time from the territory controlled by the current Kiev regime. The potential format of initiating such an investigation is currently being considered,” the senior Russian diplomat said.
On January 24, the Ukrainian armed forces shot down a Russian Il-76 military transport plane over the borderline region of Belgorod that was carrying captured Ukrainian troops selected to be included in a prisoner exchange. There were 74 people on board, including 65 Ukrainian military personnel, all of whom were killed. The Russian Defense Ministry called what happened a terrorist act and stressed that Kiev knew about the transportation of prisoners for the exchange, which was to take place at the Kolotilovka checkpoint, and purposely attacked the plane in order to accuse Moscow of destroying Ukrainian military personnel.