Putin says Russian military transport plane was shot down by Patriot missile system
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Il-76 Russian military transport plane (which Russia’s Defense Ministry alleges was carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war) was shot down by a U.S.-made Patriot missile system. A clip of Putin’s statement was posted by Pavel Zarubin, a correspondent for Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK.
“It’s already been clearly established that the plane was shot down by an American Patriot system. This has already been determined by the experts,” said Putin during a meeting. He also said that Russia insists on an international investigation into what happened.
The Russian president added that Ukraine’s Armed Forces could have shot down the aircraft accidentally. “Ukrainian Armed forces shot down our plane, which was carrying 65 of their servicemen intended for an exchange. You asked why they did that. I don’t know. I don’t understand,” said Putin. He continued to say that even if the plane was shot down accidentally, “it would still be a crime.”
Putin said that Russia does not intend to stop conducting prisoner exchanges and that the ratio of Russian to Ukrainian prisoners was “one to 10.” “We have thousands, they have dozens, maybe hundreds. But we’ll still bring our guys back if the Ukrainian side is ready and they give the signal that they’re ready,” added the Russian president.
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