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Ukraine war

Russia says it has evidence US Patriot missiles downed transport plane

Russia says it has evidence US Patriot missiles downed transport plane
A still image taken from a handout video provided by the Russian Investigative Committee on 26 January 2024, shows what investigators say is the crash site of the Russian IL-76 military transport plane near the village of Yablonovo, Belgorod region, Russia. An Ilyushin Il-76 airlifter crashed on 24 January 2024 near the border with Ukraine. The Russian government is accusing Ukraine of shooting down the Il-76 aircraft and is claiming the plane was carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war. EPA-EFE/RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE COMMITEE HANDOUT

MOSCOW, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Russian investigators said on Thursday they had evidence showing that Ukraine's military shot down a Russian Il-76 military transport plane last week with U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles.

Russia has repeatedly said that Ukraine downed the Ilyushin Il-76 plane on Jan. 24, killing 74 people on board, including 65 captured Ukrainian soldiers who Moscow said were en route to be swapped for Russian prisoners of war.

Kyiv, which is fighting Russian forces in Ukraine, has neither confirmed nor denied that it downed the plane, but has challenged details of Moscow’s account and called for an international investigation.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said Ukrainian soldiers in the area of Lyptsi in the Kharkiv region had fired two missiles at the plane.

The following markings were found on the seized fragments: ‘ASSY 11455748’, ‘SN740179’, ‘ASSY 11461343’, ‘SN740206’, ‘ASSY 11461865’, ‘SN740207’, ‘Raytheon’, ‘CONFIDENTIAL classified by PATRIOT SECURITY CLASSIFICATION GUIDE DATED: 9/22/83 ADDENDUM DATED 11/28/83 8/8/84 CONTRACT NO/DAAH01-86C-A018’,” the committee said in a statement.

It published a short video showing investigators inspecting missile fragments on the ground in an unspecified location.

“The fragments seized from the scene, according to their design features, geometric characteristics and available markings, are structural elements of the MIM-104A anti-aircraft guided missile of the Patriot complex of the United States, developed by Raytheon and Hughes corporations and manufactured by Raytheon,” the Committee said.

Ukraine did not immediately comment on the assertions by Russia’s Investigative Committee.

(Writing by Felix Light; editing by Guy Faulconbridge, John Davison and Timothy Heritage)

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  • Cobus vdM says:

    Yet another staged Putin propaganda stunt trying to discredit Ukraine at the cost of soldiers’ lives. Why was the flight not cleared through diplomatic or intelligence channels and a cleared flight plan and time window not coordinated. Even a jar of peanut butter will know that an enemy aircraft coming from the enemy’s direction without any clearance or IFF while in restricted airspace, will be shot down.

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