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Russia Says Ukrainian Aircraft Crashed in Border Region

Ukraine-made Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat. Video grab

A Ukrainian light aircraft has crashed in Russia's Bryansk region which borders Ukraine, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported late Wednesday, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB)’s border service.

The FSB said the plane “crashed for an unknown reason” near the village of Butovsk located some 30 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.  

Shortly after the initial announcement, the Telegram news channel Mash posted a photo of a man who was identified as the aircraft’s pilot. 

The pilot was allegedly detained by Russian security forces while trying to run back to Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported.

In a video published by the Baza Telegram channel, the man identified as the pilot says he was paid 50,000 Ukrainian hryvnias ($1,359) to follow another unidentified aircraft and to photograph an object on the command of his superior.

“The task was to fly at a low altitude behind the leader and take the picture when he says,” said the captured man, who is seen saying he is a civilian pilot.

But Russian officials, according to Baza, claimed the man was on a spying mission ordered by the Ukrainian armed forces and was armed with an automatic rifle.

The pro-Kremlin Telegram channel SHOT posted an alleged picture of the aircraft, a Ukraine-made Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat.

SHOT said the plane sustained damages after being shot at, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing on Russian territory. 

Ukrainian officials have not yet commented on the incident.

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