On Wednesday, January 24, an Il-76 military transport plane of the invaders crashed on the territory of the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation. The Washington Institute for the Study of War described how Russian propaganda is using this incident to discredit Ukraine.
In analytical material ISW notes that Russian propagandists accused Ukraine of shooting down the Il-76, which allegedly carried prisoners of war, NBN reports.
American experts write that the mouthpieces of the Putin regime decided to use the incident with the plane to sow discontent among Ukrainians, increase distrust in the government and undermine the desire of Western countries to continue to provide military assistance to Kiev.
ISW quoted the head of the State Duma committee of the Russian Federation on the defense of Andrei Kartapolov, who stated that Kiev allegedly knew that there were Ukrainian prisoners of war on board the Il-76 and deliberately shot down the plane. The official called for the prisoner exchange to be suspended indefinitely.
The former head of the aggressor country, Dmitry Medvedev, and the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, also responded to the incident. The former Russian leader blamed Ukrainian “internal political struggle” for contributing to the Il-76 disaster. At the same time, Putin's minister at a meeting of the UN Security Council accused Kyiv of terrorism.
Kremlin representatives stated that the Ukrainians allegedly hit the plane from complexes transferred by Washington or Berlin. Thus, Russian officials tried to dissuade Kiev’s partners from providing the country with air defense systems.
Recall that the head of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky spoke about the fall of the Il-76 in an evening video message.