On Wednesday, a Russian military aircraft transporting sixty-five Ukrainian prisoners of war was shot down in the Belgorod region of western Russia by the forces of Ukraine.
As part of a “exchange,” the “captured” Ukrainian soldiers were being transported to the Belgorod region, which is situated along the Russian-Ukrainian frontier, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a given statement.
Three Russian military personnel and six crew members were also present on the Il-76.
The Ukrainian military was charged by the Russian Ministry of Defense with downing the aircraft using an anti-aircraft missile system launched from the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine, which was situated across the border over the border.
According to a spokesperson for Ukrainian military intelligence, Andriy Yusov, an ABC News interview verified that a prisoner exchange originally scheduled for Wednesday between Russia and Ukraine is not occurring at this time.
Yusov asserts that verification is currently underway into the information provided by Russia regarding the presence of Ukrainian captives of war aboard the downed aircraft.
Designed to transport cargo, munitions, and heavy equipment, the Ilyushin Il-76 was a military transport aircraft of the Soviet era.
The shocking incidence follows a series of signifiant setbacks on the battlefield for Ukraine.