The Russian military said its warplane crashed near the Ukrainian border while transporting military equipment late Thursday, killing the entire crew.
The incident took place on the first day of President Vladimir Putin’s deadly invasion into Ukraine, which he announced days after recognizing the independence of eastern Ukraine's breakaway republics.
“A Russian Aerospace Forces An-26 aircraft crashed in the Voronezh region during a scheduled flight transporting military equipment,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
The Voronezh region borders the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine.
“The crew was killed,” Interfax quoted it as saying without specifying the number of victims.
An Aerospace Forces commission was dispatched to identify the cause of the An-26 military transport plane crash, with equipment failure named as a preliminary cause.
Eyewitness video shared by the Baza Telegram channel showed the aircraft breaking into two parts and falling to the ground.