A Russian pilot is killed after an Su-25 fighter jet crashes while returning to base in the Ukraine border region after a combat mission.
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A Russian plane crashed in the Belgorod region of western Russia, a few miles from the Ukrainian border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.
‘A plane of the Ministry of Defense crashed in the Valuysky urban district. Now an investigation team and officials from the Ministry of Emergency Situations are working on the spot,’ he wrote on Telegram this morning.
The pilot, who had just returned from a combat sortie over the skies of Ukraine, was ejected from the Sukhoi Su-25 plane, but Russia’s Defense Ministry later said the pilot did not survive.
‘After completing a combat mission, a Su-25 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed while returning to its base airfield in the Belgorod region. The pilot died… According to preliminary data, the cause of the disaster was a technical malfunction,’ the ministry said.
Belgorod’s Valuysky district lies along the border of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, and a live map of the crash suggested the plane crashed into grass near the town of Valuysky, just 10 miles from border.
Russian outlet Baza claimed that the affected plane landed in a barn, set it on fire and burned to the ground.
Soviet-era Su-25 jets have long been a mainstay in Russia’s arsenal and are used to provide close air support to troops on the ground.
FILE PHOTO: Russian Sukhoi Su-25 close air support plane