Moment Russian plane believed to be carrying 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war crashes

This is the moment a Russian military transport plane believed to be carrying more than 70 people crashed in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, Kremlin state media claims.

Footage circulated on Telegram shows the moment the plane descends as it leaves a trail of smoke behind it, moments before crashing at around 11:00am local time on Wednesday, 24 January.

The plane disappears from view and seconds later a huge explosion is seen erupting in the distance, shortly followed by a booming sound that sets off a car alarm nearby.

Russian state media reported that 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war were on board the plane, with a further nine people onboard including six crew members.

Ukraine media, however, have said that the plane was transporting missiles for Russia’s S-300 air defence systems.

The Independent has not verified either claim.