Air defense systems in the Belgorod region were active shortly before the crash of a Russian military transport plane Wednesday morning, according to information from the region’s governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov.
On his Telegram channel, Gladkov wrote that a drone had been shot down over the village of Blizhnee, which lies about 60 kilometers southwest of Yablanovo, where the plane crashed. The governor’s post was published at 10:35 a.m. local time, about 40 minutes before Russia’s Defense Ministry says the plane crashed.
In another post, published at 11:12 a.m. local time, Gladkov reported an air attack alert was active, warning people to take shelter. About half an hour later, he said the alert was over.
The governor’s Telegram posts did not draw any connections between the air alert, the drone interception and the plane crash.
For months now, Belgorod has been targeted by Ukraine’s armed forces, mainly using drones, but also with other weapons types. Kyiv is yet to comment on Moscow’s claims Ukraine was responsible for the downing of the transport plane.