This is the second such incident in a week. A Sukhoi Su-34 crashed into a nine-story apartment building in the southern Russian town of Yeysk on Monday. At least 15 people were killed in the crash, Reuters reported. At the time, authorities said the cause could be a “technical glitch”. The pilot in the crash managed to eject and survived.
In both incidents, the planes were on training flights, authorities said. Highlights the losses of the Russian Air Force in the war against Ukraine.
Russian fighter jet crashes into apartment in town near Ukraine
Russian authorities have provided no information on the cause of the crash. The country’s commission of inquiry said it had launched a criminal investigation into possible violations of transport safety rules and had dispatched forensic investigators to the scene.
Russia’s state-owned aerospace group United Aircraft said in a statement on Sunday that the investigation into the crash will involve aviation industry experts. In Irkutsk on Sunday night, authorities declared a municipal state of emergency in the area where the incident occurred, Russian media reported.
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The back-to-back crashes are problematic for the perception of Russian troops and the domestic public battling a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region. Moscow is facing criticism from military analysts who say it won’t win fast enough in Ukraine, while Russians are fleeing en masse to avoid a military mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin.
Elsewhere in the region last month, a man shot and wounded an officer at a military recruitment station in a town north of Irkutsk. The gunman was visibly distraught that his close friend had been called to fight in Ukraine despite having no military service.
Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.