A Russian military transport plane crashed yesterday in Belgorod, Russia, near the border with Ukraine, according to a video shot from a cellphone (see here; sensitive content). Russian military officials claimed Ukraine shot down the plane, killing 74, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war en route to a planned prisoner swap. Ukrainian officials did not confirm the reports, and the number and identity of the victims were not yet independently verified.
Ukrainian officials did confirm a prisoner swap was scheduled for yesterday. Swaps have occurred regularly throughout the nearly two-year war, the most recent coming this month, which saw roughly 250 personnel returned for each side. Ukraine also acknowledged it targets such planes suspected of carrying missiles.