Russian military transport jet crashed after takeoff near Moscow, all 15 passengers and crew are believed to be dead

 March 13, 2024

Ukraine appears to have won a minor victory on Tuesday in its ongoing war against Russia, albeit most likely by accident and because of any direct action.

A Russian IL-76 military transport jet reportedly crashed shortly after taking off from a western Russian air base, killing all 15 people reported to have been on board, according to the Associated Press.

Local reports indicate that the crash occurred after one of the aircraft's engines caught on fire, and alleged cellphone video footage of the incident circulating on social media would appear to confirm those reports.

Russian military transport jet crash caught on video

The Moscow Times reported that the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, "At about 1:00 p.m. Moscow time, an IL-76 military transport aircraft crashed during takeoff for a scheduled flight in the Ivanovo region."

"According to reports from the scene, the cause of the disaster was a fire in one of the engines during takeoff of the aircraft," the ministry added.

That seems to match with alleged footage of the incident on social media, which shows the large four-engine military transport jet descending rapidly with flames and smoke trailing from at least one of those engines before a massive cloud of black smoke billowed up from the crash site beyond the horizon.

All 15 crew and passengers on board suspected to be dead

The Moscow Times noted that though the ministry declined to confirm whether there were any casualties, other Russian media outlets quoted senior unnamed officials as saying that there were no anticipated survivors and it was believed that all 15 individuals on board, including eight crew members and seven passengers, were killed in the crash.

The AP reported that Ivanovo Gov. Stanislav Voskresensky issued a statement expressing his condolences to the families of the victims, and while it was suspected that everybody on board was dead, the governor noted that there were no reports of any major damage on the ground.

A team of investigators was reportedly dispatched to the crash site, and while mechanical failure seems to be the most likely culprit for the accident, the possibility of a Ukrainian drone attack -- which has occurred previously in and around Moscow and military bases deep inside Russia -- can't be entirely ruled out.

Second Russian IL-76 crash in less than two months

This presumptively fatal incident comes less than two months after another Russian IL-76 military transport jet, purportedly carrying several dozen Ukrainian prisoners of war, crashed with no survivors in the Belgorod border region near Ukraine in January, according to a Breitbart report at the time.

Russia claimed that Ukraine had shot down the transport plane carrying 65 Ukrainian POWs plus six crew members and three "escorts," killing everyone on board.

Ukraine, meanwhile, neither confirmed nor denied its alleged anti-aircraft fire to bring down the jet, but insisted that it had been carrying a load of surface-to-air missiles instead of POWs.

The Ukraine-Russia conflict, now more than two years old, has seemingly been stuck in a protracted and bloody stalemate for some time now as the front lines have largely stabilized, little territory has been gained or lost in offensives launched at great expense, and the casualty numbers on both sides continue to increase dramatically.

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