Ukraine's intelligence uncertain about who was onboard downed Russian Il-76. Here's what we know
Il-76 (Photo: Russian media)

There is a lack of reliable and comprehensive information about who exactly was on board the Russian Il-76 that crashed in the Belgorod Oblast, as announced by the press service of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (HUR).

For in-depth analysis and longer stories, follow us on LinkedIn

The HUR also confirmed that a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, which was supposed to take place today, "did not occur."

The intelligence service asserts that Ukraine fulfilled its agreements, delivering Russian prisoners of war "on time to the agreed-upon exchange point, where they remained safe." Russia was responsible for ensuring the safety of Ukrainian prisoners of war.

The agency stated that Moscow had previously warned about the need for airspace safety over Belgorod during exchanges. However, there were no such communications today.

This could indicate deliberate enemy actions aimed at creating threats to the lives and safety of the prisoners, the intelligence officers suspect.

They added that landing a transport aircraft within a 30-kilometer combat zone cannot be safe and should always be discussed by both parties, as failing to do so endangers the entire exchange process.

"Given this, it could be a case of planned and deliberate actions by Russia to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and weaken international support for our country," concluded the HUR.

Read also: Pictures emerge of Russian Il-76 crash site near Belgorod. It carried S-300 missiles – UP