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Russian Air Force Pilot Killed in Plane Crash Near Ukraine Border

Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

Adds last three grafs on civilian death.

A Russian pilot was killed on Thursday when a military plane crashed in the southern region of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced. 

“After completing a combat mission, a Su-25 aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces crashed while returning to its base in the Belgorod region. The pilot died," the ministry said in a statement cited by Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency. 

The plane crashed in the village of Orekhovo some 20 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, according to information obtained by independent Telegram news channel Baza. 

Neither the ministry nor local authorities reported any civilian casualties or infrastructure damage as a result of the crash. 

The ministry said that a “technical malfunction” was the likely cause of the incident, according to Interfax. 

The Thursday crash marks at least the third such incident on Russian territory since the invasion of Ukraine began a year ago. 

At least 15 civilians were killed in October when a Russian supersonic Su-34 strike aircraft crashed into an apartment block in the southern Russian port town of Yeysk, though both pilots ejected from the aircraft and survived the incident. 

Just days after the tragedy in Yeysk, a Su-30 jet plunged into a two-story house in Siberia, killing both pilots on board.

Later on Thursday, a 72-year-old female resident in the Belgorod region village of Borisovka, some 30 kilometers from the Ukraine border, was also killed when a mortar hit a residential building, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov announced.

The woman’s daughter who was in the house with her when the mortar hit “received emergency medical care” and survived, according to Gladkov.

“Another shell destroyed a second house, thank God there was no one in it,” the governor said on his Telegram channel.

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