Ukraine's State Security Service, the SBU found that the Russian military command was behind the downing of Ilyushin Il-76 of Ukraine's Armed Forces, which took place over Luhansk airfield five years ago. The SBU press office reported this June 14.
'The Security Service has hard evidence that the decision to shoot it down was made in the Kremlin, and brought into life by the off-the-record unit of the Chief Department of the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces, known as 'Wagner private military company', reads the message.
The investigation team found that Russian Army Major General Yevgeniy Nikoforov was the one who gave the criminal order. The commander of Russian Armed Forces' 58th Army 'arrived in Donbas to perform the military invasion and occupation of part of the territory of the sovereign state'. 'Besides, when the assassins of Ukrainian warriors, Dmitriy Utkin, Andrei Guralev and Andrei Lebedev returned to Russia, Putin decorated them with the official state-level awards, the Orders of Courage'.
Ukraine's Il-76 was shot down near the airport of Luhansk on June 14, 2014; it was an attack by Russian occupants who used a man-portable anti-aircraft missile launcher. The plane caught fire and crashed, killing everyone aboard.
Major General Viktor Nazarov, the-then leader of the counter-terrorist operation in Donbas was charged with the neglect of duty in a combat situation, which led to severe consequences. The officer filed an appeal, but the court eventually sentenced him to seven years behind the bars.