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Russian Warplane Crashes During Training Flight

Su-24 bomber. WikiMedia

A Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday crashed in southern Russia during a training flight, state-run media reported, citing Russia's Defense Ministry.

The two-man crew’s fate remains unknown more than 12 hours after the incident, which occurred in the Volgograd region.

The Su-24 was not equipped with weapons and crashed in an uninhabited area, Interfax reported, citing the Defense Ministry.

Rescue helicopters were dispatched to the area, the news agency added.

Local media identified the crash site as the rural district of Kalachyovsky, located just west of the city Volgograd and around 300 kilometers east of Ukraine’s partially occupied Luhansk region.

“Things are not looking good for the pilots,” an anonymous law enforcement official told the local news website V1.ru late Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, V1.ru said at least two anonymous channels on the Telegram messaging app said both Su-24 crew members were killed in the crash, but these claims could not be confirmed.

Likewise, the Defense Ministry has not stated whether the pilots had died in the accident. 

The Russian military has seen several deadly air crashes since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year.

In July, a pilot was killed in a training flight crash over the Azov Sea, not far from Ukraine, and in October 2022, 15 people were killed when a Su-34 collided into an apartment building in the Russian town of Yeysk.

AFP contributed reporting.

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