Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov confirmed on Telegram that a transport plane crashed in the region on Jan. 24.
"A transport plane crashed in the Korochansky District," Gladkov said, claiming that it fell in a field and "all on board died." He had reported earlier on Telegram that there had been an incident in the area.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported earlier that a Russian Il-76 transport aircraft crashed in Russia's Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24 at around 11 a.m. local time, citing the country's Defense Ministry.
"The crash site is now cordoned off" and investigators are at the scene, according to Gladkov.
Ukrainska Pravda initially claimed that Ukrainian forces downed the plane, but the information was later retracted. The outlet said that another of its sources did not confirm this claim.
In turn, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that 65 captured military Ukrainian personnel were aboard the plane on its way for a prisoner exchange, as well as six crew members and three accompanying people.
The Kyiv Independent could not verify these claims. Ukraine's Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War said it is investigating the information about prisoners of war but urged the public to trust only statements by authorized persons.
Chief Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said that he is "finding out all the details of the event and analyzing the information received."
"I call on media representatives and citizens of Ukraine not to draw premature conclusions and trust only official sources," said Lubinets.
According to Suspilne, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm whether the plane was hit by Ukrainian forces, adding that the information is still being clarified.