Ukraine's intelligence on Il-76 crash: Russian VIPs were supposed to fly, FSB ordered cancellation
Il-76 (Illustrative photo: resource of the occupiers)

Russian high-ranking officials were supposed to be on board the Russian Il-76 military plane that crashed in the Belgorod region on January 24. However, at the "last moment," the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) "ordered" them not to board the plane, according to a statement by Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (HUR), in an interview with Radio Svoboda.

"Several VIPs from the military-political representation of the aggressor state were to be on board. Their names are known and will be mentioned, and the materials will be provided as part of the international investigation. But at the last moment, the FSB effectively ordered them not to board this plane and to use other modes of transportation," Yusov stated.

He noted that this information was ascertained after the air crash had occurred.

Yusov also mentioned that the Il-76 could have been carrying only S-300 missiles, as well as missiles and people, and the air crash could have been a deliberate provocation by the occupiers or "friendly fire" by the invaders on their own plane.

Read also: Russian claim of Ukrainian PoW deaths on downed Il-76 aims to divide global backing – Kyiv