Unverified videos circulating on social media depicted a sizable plane descending from the sky while tilting to its side, ultimately crashing in a fiery explosion.
The Russian defense ministry informed Russian news agencies, stating, "At around 11 a.m. Moscow time (0800 GMT), an IL-76 aircraft crashed in the Belgorod region during a routine flight."
The statement continued, "On board were 65 captured Ukrainian army servicemen. They were being transported to the Belgorod region for exchange, six crew members, and three escorts."
It is important to note that AFP could not promptly corroborate Russia's assertion, and the destiny of the passengers remained uncertain.