A Russian jet has crashed in the Belgorod region of Western Russia mere miles from the Ukrainian border, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

‘A plane of the Ministry of Defence crashed in the Valuysky urban district. Now an investigation team and officials of the Ministry of Emergency Situations are working on the spot,’ he wrote on Telegram early this morning.

The pilot, who had just returned from a combat sortie over Ukrainian skies, ejected from the Sukhoi Su-25 jet but Russia’s MoD later said the pilot did not survive.

It was not immediately clear whether the jet had been hit by a strike from Ukraine, but Russia’s MoD claimed the crash was due to a ‘technical malfunction’, a routine explanation when its warplanes are downed. 

‘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.

The Valuysky district of Belgorod sits along the border of Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, and a live map of the crash suggested the plane careened into the ground close to Orekhovo village just 10 miles from the border.

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 PIC: Russian Sukhoi Su-25 close air support jet

FILE PIC: Russian Sukhoi Su-25 close air support jet

FILE PIC: Russian Sukhoi Su-25 close air support jet 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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