International

Russian plane burst into flames mid air on way to Ukraine

Four crew members were killed when a big Russian Il-76 freight jet crashed while flying to Ukraine and burst into flames.

Shortly after refueling in Ryazan, the Ilyushin-76 attempted an emergency landing there.

However, the aircraft, which was on its way to support Vladimir Putin’s war effort, burst into flames as it soared overhead.

A flaming Russian military cargo jet crashes-landing on in a spectacular video. At least four of the nine crew members were killed as it exploded in flames and smoke when it crashed behind residential tower blocks.

Others at the hospital are still in a “grave” condition.

Voices filming the stricken plane are heard saying: ‘Its all in flames, look.’ and ‘It’s flying at us… So scary, it’s flying at us… It’s going to hit the houses, look… ‘This is it (the plane hits the ground).’ The Ilyushin was en route from Orenburg to Belgorod, close to the war zone, when it crashed. Reports say it suffered engine failure following the refuelling stop but a full investigation is underway.

The three who died at the crash site were named as Vladimir Petrushin, Nikolai Gorbunov, and Dmitry Andreev. One more crew member died in hospital. Such Ilyushin aircraft have been used in recent months for transporting military equipment to the war zone.

Ryazan is 125 miles southeast of Moscow and not close to the war zone. The city is a key base for Russian paratroopers, who have suffered significant losses in the war in Ukraine. The crash site field was near shops and residential buildings but there were understood to be no casualties on the ground.

In response to a ferocious Russian attack that is leaving the battlefield city of Severodonetsk in ruins, Ukrainian soldiers will withdraw from the city, a top Ukrainian official announced today.

The information was released soon after the European Union gave Ukraine significant indications of support by awarding the former Soviet republic candidate status, despite the fact that there is still a long way to go before membership.

The Russians have made capturing Severodonetsk in the Donbas area a top priority as they concentrate their onslaught on eastern Ukraine after being driven from Kyiv during their invasion in February.

Weeks of street fighting have taken place in the strategically significant industrial area as the outgunned Ukrainians mount a valiant defense.

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