Last week, a Russian military plane crashed in the Russian region of Belgorod.
It was an Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft that crashed, triggering an air alarm in the same area.
According to Russia, 74 people were on board, including 65 captive Ukrainian soldiers.
No one survived.
Putin: Shot Down by Patriot
Now, the Putin regime is coming out with new claims about the crash.
The Russian dictator alleges that Ukraine used the Patriot air defense system, supplied by the USA, to shoot down the plane.
“The plane was shot down, and it has definitely been established by an American Patriot system, expert analysis has already determined that," says Vladimir Putin according to The Independent.
The Russian leader says it is “obvious” that Ukraine is behind the downing and has called for an international investigation.
"Red Line" Crossed: Could Involve the USA
This new development is linked to previous threats issued from the Kremlin.
Several Russian officials have warned at various times that the use of Western weapons on Russian territory, especially long-range weapons, means crossing a boundary.
They have spoken of a “red line.”
“If Washington decides to supply Kyiv with long-range missiles, they will cross a red line and become a direct party to the conflict,” warned, for example, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, in September 2022.
Ukraine Questions the Claims
The warnings caused some hesitation in the USA to provide Ukraine with such weapons, but eventually greenlit the Patriot, which arrived in the spring of 2023.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the downing of the Russian military aircraft in Belgorod. The government neither confirms nor denies that this is the case, writes Reuters.
However, they have questioned the claims that Ukrainian soldiers were on board the aircraft.
“Strong Russian propaganda is directing a false stream of information to the international audience, in an attempt to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the global community,” says Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of Ukraine's Air Force, according to France24.