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Names of crashed Russian Il-76 crew released – Schemes

The names were previously mentioned by Ukraine's intelligence among those "who deliver weapons and ammunition to kill Ukrainian civilians".

Names of crashed Russian Il-76 crew released – Schemes
Il-76 crew
Photo: Schemes

Journalists from the Schemes projects (Radio Liberty) have identified the names of the crew members of the Russian IL-76 aircraft that crashed in Russia's Belgorod Region on the morning of 24 January.

The deaths of at least three of them were confirmed by their relatives. The crew belonged to the 117th Military Transport Aviation Regiment stationed in Orenburg, Radio Liberty reports.

The journalists received a list of the six-person crew that was supposed to accompany the flight, verified their positions and affiliation with military aviation.

Relatives confirmed the deaths of three of them - 36-year-old commander Stanislav Bezzubkin, ship navigator Alexei Vysokin, and 38-year-old flight engineer Andrey Piluyev.

The death of the aircraft commander, Stanislav Bezzubkin, was confirmed by his wife, Marika Bezzubkina. She said she had been informed of the death by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

Piluyev's wife said that she knew about his death, but that she had not yet been officially provided with detailed information.

According to open sources, Piluyev was awarded the medal "For the Return of Crimea" and for participating in hostilities in Syria.

The death of navigator Alexei Vysokin was confirmed by his cousin. She said she had learnt about it from his parents.

Under the photo of another IL-76 crew member, flight radio operator Igor Sablinsky, comments were posted on the social network expressing condolences for his death.

The flight was also supposed to be serviced by flight engineer, Sergei Zhitenev, but it has not yet been possible to independently confirm his death.

According to leaks from Russian databases, the 117th Military Transport Aviation Regiment is listed as the place of service for five crew members. The same information was published by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine in March 2022, listing Bezzubkin, Vysokin, Piluyev, Zhitenev and Sablinsky as members of the 117th Separate Transport Aviation Regiment, "who deliver weapons and ammunition to kill Ukrainian civilians".

The 117th Regiment is military unit No. 45097 in Orenburg Region. According to publicly available data, this regiment is engaged in the maintenance of military aircraft transporting special cargo for the material support of the Russian army. The aircraft of this regiment are based at the airfield in Orenburg.

Allegations by the Russian authorities that there were also Ukrainian prisoners on board have not been independently verified.

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