Skip to content
Edit post

Russia says Ukraine had 15-minute warning before Il-76 flight, Kyiv denies claim

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 26, 2024 4:51 AM 2 min read
Illustrative photo of an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft at the Chkalovsky Military Airport outside Moscow, Russia, on March 22, 2020. (Russian Ministry of Defense / Alexey Ereshko / Handout / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Senior Russian lawmaker Andrey Kartopolov claimed on Jan. 25 that Ukraine was given a 15-minute-warning ahead of the flight of the Il-76 plane that crashed in Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24, though Ukrainian officials deny receiving any such notification.

Russia has alleged that the downed military aircraft was destroyed by Ukrainian forces, and that it was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) at the time it was shot down. Ukraine has called Russia's narrative into question and demanded an international investigation.

"The Ukrainian side was officially warned, and 15 minutes before the plane entered the zone they were given complete information," Kartopolov told Russian lawmakers.

Ukraine's military intelligence, known as HUR, said on Jan. 24 that Russia provided no warnings regarding airspace safety before the flight of the Il-76.

HUR representatives said that although Russian officials in the past repeatedly gave notice about the need to ensure air safety in the event of a prisoner exchange, the Ukrainian military were not given advance warning on Jan. 24.

HUR also said the lack of warning may have been a "deliberate" tactic by Russia to "create a threat to the life and safety of the prisoners."

Ukrainian officials have also said that they cannot confirm Russia's claims that 65 POWs were killed in the crash.

Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on Jan. 25 that some POWs listed as killed in the crash had already been exchanged for Russian prisoners at an earlier date. Lubinets also said that images from the crash site do not indicate "any signs that there were such a large number of people on the plane."

HUR confirmed that a prisoner swap was scheduled for Jan. 24, but said it did not take place.

The U.N. Security Council met on Jan. 25 at Russia's request to discuss the circumstances surrounding the crash.

U.N. Under-Secretary General Rosemary DiCarlo said the organization is not able at this time to verify the facts of the incident.

“What is clear is that the incident took place in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ongoing war,” DiCarlo said.

“To avoid further escalation, we urge all concerned to refrain from actions, rhetoric or allegations that could further fuel the already dangerous conflict.”

Ukraine war latest: Russia says Ukrainian POWs were in crashed II-76 aircraft, Kyiv calls for investigation
A Russian Il-76 transport aircraft allegedly carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war crashed in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast on Jan. 24 at around 11 a.m. local time, the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing the country’s Defense Ministry.
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
5:17 PM

Zelensky signs bill on conditions for demobilization of conscripts.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky's original proposal, conscripts whose term of service expired during martial law and whose military service was extended beyond the established period are released from service to the reserve "within the terms determined by the presidential decree."
3:11 PM

Yermak: Ukraine working to restore operations at one airport.

Ukrainian authorities are working to restore operations at one of the country's airports once security issues are addressed, Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak said at the "Made in Ukraine" forum on Feb. 26, the outlet reported.
1:12 PM

Denmark drops investigation into Nord Stream explosions.

"The investigation has led the authorities to conclude that the sabotage of the pipelines was intentional. However, the assessment is that there is no sufficient basis to pursue a criminal case in Denmark," the Danish police said in a statement.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.