A Russian military cargo plane flying to Ukraine crashed in Moscow's western city Ryazan on Friday morning after it exploded into a huge fireball in the sky. At least four crew members were killed in the tragic accident, according to reports. According to reports, the Ilyushin-76 plane was traveling from Orenburg in the Urals to Belgorod on the Ukrainian border.
Shortly after refueling at Ryazan, the Ilyushin-76 was attempting an emergency landing when it exploded midair. A chilling video has emerged that shows a large plume of black smoke emerging from the aircraft following the impact. Five other crew members are reportedly in serious condition.
The aircraft was reportedly carrying supplies and weapons for the Russian forces fighting in Ukraine. "Two bodies were retrieved from the burning aircraft," the state-run TASS news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.
TASS later reported that the death toll has increased to four. According to a Moscow Times report, Russia's Defense Ministry said that the crash occurred due to engine failure.
A chilling video footage has emerged that shows the burning Russian military cargo jet making a fatal crash landing. Seconds later smoke and flames could be from behind residential tower blocks.
"Its all in flames, look," are heard being said by voices filming the downed aircraft.
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)."
Vladimir Petrushin, Nikolai Gorbunov, and Dmitry Andreev were three of those who died on the scene, while a fourth died away in a hospital. Despite the plane colliding close to both shops and residential areas, it is understood that there were no human casualties on the ground.
A Different Kind of Loss
The Russian defense ministry was cited separately by the Interfax news agency as stating the plane encountered an engine issue while doing a training session. The ministry withheld information on crew fatalities.
The Ilyushin-76 crash comes as Putin's army continues to suffer huge losses in Ukraine as the war completed four months. Ilyushin planes have been employed to deliver military supplies to the front lines in recent weeks.
Its journey began farther east in the city of Orenburg, and it was destined for Belgorod, the capital of the same-named Russian district and a little distance from the Ukrainian border. Ryazan is located 125 miles southeast of Moscow, far from the front lines.
Russian paratroopers, who have sustained heavy losses in the conflict in Ukraine, maintain a major base in the city. The accident's cause was being looked into early Friday.
In response to a ferocious Russian attack that is leaving the battleground city of Severodonetsk in ruins, Ukrainian soldiers will withdraw from the city, a senior Ukrainian official announced today.
The information was released soon after the European Union gave Ukraine significant indications of support by granting 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 region a top priority as they concentrate their onslaught on eastern Ukraine after being driven from Kyiv following their invasion in February.