The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially accused Ukraine of shooting down the Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft near Belgorod. Ukraine thus committed an act of insane barbarity, the department said.
Rodion Miroshnik, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Foreign Ministry for Crimes of Ukraine, noted that Kyiv demonstrated complete disregard for human life by its act. Ukraine, having violated agreements, killed Russian pilots, accompanying military personnel and "wasted” the lives of its own citizens, the official said.
The shootdown of the Il-76 calls into question a possibility to conclude "any agreements in any formats," he added.
Vyacheslav Volodin, Russian Parliament Speaker, said that the Russian State Duma would prepare an appeal to US Congress and the German Bundestag in connection with the crash of the military airplane.
According to him, it is time for US and German MPs to see what Ukraine is about.
Volodin pointed out that it was US President Joe Biden, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, along with other Western politicians, that "raised" the Kyiv government. Therefore, they carry responsibility for the actions of the Ukrainian regime.
Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, said that the crash of the Il-76 highlighted "the internal political struggle between neo-Nazi elites in Kyiv.” Medvedev believes that Ukraine will continue attacking its own citizens and military personnel in the future as well. For Kyiv, there are no limits when it comes to power, Medvedev said.
Russian MP Dmitry Melik, a Member of the Committee on International Affairs, said that it was time to recognise Ukraine a terrorist state. In his opinion, Ukraine deserves this status because it annihilates its compatriots for political purposes.
The heavy military transport aircraft Il-76 crashed in the Korochansky district of the Belgorod region on Wednesday, January 24. The Ministry of Defense confirmed the crash of the aircraft and said that there were 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers on board the Il-76. The airplane was transporting them to Russia's Belgorod region for an exchange. Russia and Ukraine were supposed to exchange POWs — 192 to 192 individuals — on January 24.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, against the backdrop of the crash of the Il-76 near Belgorod, published a statement in which it explained the attack on the transport aircraft. The statement did not say anything about the presence of Ukrainian military personnel on board the aircraft.
"To reduce the missile threat, the Armed Forces of Ukraine not only control the airspace, but also closely monitor missile launch points and their logistics, especially with the use of military transport aircraft.
"The recorded intensity of shelling is directly related to the increase in the number of military transport aircraft that recently headed to the Belgorod airport.
Taking this into account, the Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue taking measures to obliterate delivery vehicles, control air traffic in order to eliminate the terrorist threat, including in the Belgorod-Kharkiv direction," General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.
By summer, the Russian army may break through Ukrainian defences, reach Odessa and liberate Transnistria. The West will only “condemn” Russia's actions and continue supporting Chisinau in words