NYT: Ukraine Downed the Russian Il-76 with Patriot MissileUkraine | February 9, 2024, Friday // 13:01| views
The crash of a Russian military transport plane, the Il-76, in the Belgorod region on January 24, purportedly carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war, was allegedly caused by a missile fired from the Patriot anti-aircraft system, according to sources from The New York Times. Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion of the same, Ukraine has called for an international investigation into the incident.
While the United States has refrained from public comment, sources cited by the paper corroborate reports of the Patriot's involvement, raising concerns about the use of American weaponry escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow. It is believed that the Ukrainian armed forces targeted the plane under the impression it was transporting missiles, unaware of any prisoners aboard.
The identities of those on board remain uncertain, though it's suggested some may have been Ukrainian POWs. Moscow's claim of 65 POW casualties has not been verified, with suspicions that Russia may be inflating the numbers.
This is not the first time Kyiv has used the Patriot against Russian aircraft. It did the same last spring to shoot down five Russian planes by moving a launcher near the border. After this operation, Ukraine secretly moved a system south to shoot down a Russian Su-35 over the Black Sea. Months later, in November, it confirmed that with this move it had prompted the Russians to refrain from flying in the area in question for a while.
Read more from the 716th day of the war in Ukraine.
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