A video released on January 24th showed a Russian plane spinning out and crashing in western Russia’s Belgorod region. According to the Belgorod governor, all passengers on the plane died in the fiery wreck. Reportedly, the flight held 65 Ukrainian POWs, six Russian crewmembers, and three “accompanying persons.”
Crashing just outside the border, a prisoner swap was alleged to be conducted in Belgorod in the coming days. According to Ukrainian officials, the plane was loaded with missiles, not prisoners. This ran contradictory to the reports out of Russia, which produced parts of a flight manifest that listed the previously listed numbers of passengers, had a by-name list of reported Ukrainian POWs, and the names of their crewmembers.
With the White House putting significant pressure on Congress to continue funding the war in Ukraine, many wonder how much longer we can chase bad money with good.
President Biden and his fellow leftists have funneled millions (if not billions) through various programs in Ukraine since the conflict began. They have benefitted from more insider trading than any investor to date. Their continued funding of Ukraine’s military and rebel groups has ensured they remained in the fight and weren’t overrun. While multiple other nations have joined in on the effort, they haven’t provided anywhere near as much as the US has.
The timing of this plane crash could not have been worse. With Russia currently on the ropes, Ukraine has the upper hand in negotiating for an end to this conflict. Sources inside the Kremlin, as well as Russian policy experts, agree that Putin won’t end his occupation of Ukraine without taking some land with him. Including previously annexed lands he claims are filled with Russians and Russian sympathizers.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky is adamant that he won’t begin talking about bringing this to an end until Russia pulls out completely. This means the restoration of the 1991 borders with Russia, as well as removing themselves from under any sort of Russian influence. A concept Putin has previously claimed way beyond the realm of possibility.
For the families of the Ukrainian POWs, this brings about a very uneasy time. Communication from the Kremlin to these families has been scant at best. With manifests that may or may not be little more than propaganda, these families are being rung through the wringer over this information.
While the Russian defense ministry has been quick to condemn Ukraine for the plane crash, they have yet to provide the full manifests or any proof that the Ukrainian POWs were actually on board the plane. Their allegation that two missiles took down the plane is a bold claim, one they suggest their radar operators can confirm through heat signatures they claim show two Ukrainian missiles hitting the plane. “By committing this terrorist act, the Ukrainian leadership has shown its true face. It disregarded the lives of its own citizens,” said the ministry in a statement.
As nobody from Ukraine will admit to shooting down the plane, they have given multiple statements claiming they weren’t told that Russia would be transporting the POWs to the border via air or any other methods. In their opinion, this was likely a push to destabilize the region entirely.
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Per the video, the plane was already enflamed as it went down, so proving that it was shot down or had a mechanical failure is up for debate.