A Russian Ilyushin-76 military transport plane, carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, crashed in the western Belgorod region bordering Ukraine yesterday.

According to media reports, Russia's Ministry of Defence said that the plane was heading to the Belgorod region for a prisoner exchange. Another nine people were on the plane, including six crew members. 

The regional governor in Russia's Belgorod region, Vyacheslav

Gladkov, said the plane crashed in a field near a residential area and everyone on board died.

In Ukraine, a nationwide air raid alert was briefly in place shortly after news of the crash emerged.

Belgorod, which is located approximately 25 miles north of the border with Ukraine, has suffered dozens of casualties from air strikes and drones since the conflict began.

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