As the war in Ukraine is about to complete its second anniversary, the conflict is still raging, causing death on land, at sea or on river waters, and on the air.

A Russian military transport airplane carrying dozens of Ukrainian PoWs, as well as a small number of Russian crew and guards, was shot down from the sky in dramatic images caught by a cell phone video.

All passengers inside the plane are believed to have died.

A Russian IL-76 military transport plane was transporting 65 Ukrainian POWs for an exchange crashed in Belgorod Oblast. Combined with 6 crew members and 3 people escorting the POWs, the death toll rises to 74.

— Paul Serran (@paul_serran) January 27, 2024

As with everything in this war, the tragedy quickly turned into an information battle.

The Ukrainian regime first celebrated its feat in downing the plane, but soon erased all social media messages about this and took a stance of ‘not acknowledging and not denying’ – but they are not really fooling anyone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian military plane was shot down by Ukrainian air defenses – whether on purpose or by mistake.

Kiev used ‘surface to air missiles’ to down the Ilyushin Il-76 plane in Russia’s Belgorod region, killing 74 people on board, including 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers, who were en route to be swapped for Russian PoWs.

BREAKING: Putin confirms it was an American Patriot missile or a French missile which shot down the Russian Il-76 carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners for exchange.

Russia will present evidence and give an exact answer on the origin of the missile in the next 72 hours.

— Aussie Cossack (@aussiecossack) January 26, 2024

Reuters reported:

“‘I don’t know if they did it on purpose or by mistake, but it is obvious that they did it’, Putin said in televised comments, his first on the crash. ‘In any case, what happened is a crime. Either through negligence or on purpose, but in any case it is a crime’.”

Ukraine denies that it was warned in advance about the plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war, that would be flying over Russia’s southwestern Belgorod region at that time.

“Putin said the plane could not have been brought down by Russian “friendly fire” because Russia’s air defense systems have safeguards to prevent them attacking their own planes.

“‘There are ´friend or foe´ systems there, and no matter how much the operator presses the button, our air defense systems would not work’, he said.

Putin said the missiles fired were mostly likely American or French, but this would be established with certainty in two to three days.”

Crash site in Belgorod Oblast, Russia.

Meanwhile, Kiev is denying any responsibility in the matter.

Associated Press reported:

“Officials in Ukraine said Russia has provided no credible evidence to back its claims that their own forces shot down a military transport plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war who were to be swapped for Russian POWs.

The Ukrainian agency that deals with prisoner exchanges said late Friday that Russian officials had “with great delay” provided it with a list of the 65 Ukrainians who Moscow said had died in the Wednesday plane crash in Russia’s Belgorod region.”

The Russian Defense Ministry said that missiles fired from across the border brought down the transport plane.

“’We currently don’t have evidence that there could have been that many people onboard the aircraft. Russian propaganda’s claim that the IL-76 aircraft was transporting 65 Ukrainian POWs (heading) for a prisoner swap continues to raise a lot of questions’, Budanov, who heads Ukraine’s POW agency, said.”

Russia’s Putin pledged Friday to make the findings of Moscow’s crash investigation public.

“’There are black boxes, everything will now be collected and shown’, Putin said.”

Documents of Ukrainian prisoners of war killed in the crash are being recovered from the site, according to the Russian Investigative Committee.

— Paul Serran (@paul_serran) January 27, 2024

Kiev’s denials are getting much harder to believe since Russian investigators at the site are finding hard evidence of the facts. In another Reuters report:

“Russia said on Friday it had recovered Ukrainian identity documents and tattooed body parts from the site where a Russian military plane that Moscow says was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war crashed two days earlier near the Ukrainian border.”

Body parts are also being collected and removed for genetic testing – some of them bearing distinctive Nazi tattoos.

“It said the evidence collected also included ‘documents of Ukrainian servicemen who died in the disaster, confirming their identities, as well as accompanying documents from the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia’.”

The launch site of the anti-aircraft missile that downed the plane was determined by Russia to have been located in the village of Liptsy, in the Kharkov region, Ukraine.

The post WATCH: Russian Military Transport Plane With DOZENS of Ukrainian POWs Is Shot by Surface-To-Air Missile – Kiev Brags About Downing It, Then Backtracks – Documents for the Killed Prisoners Found in the Wreckage appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.