Russian military plane crashes into Siberian building and its pilots are killed

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Two people were killed when a Russian military plane crashed into a two-storey residential building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, according to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry. It was the second fatal case of a military aircraft hitting a Russian building in less than a week.

The Sukhoi Su-30, a Russian two-seater fighter plane, crashed at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the Novo-Lenino district of Irkutsk. Video shared by Russian state news outlets appears to show the plane plunging towards the ground, creating a ball of fire and thick clouds of black smoke. The two pilots of the plane are said to have died in the accident. Irkutsk regional governor Igor Kobzev said no residents were injured.

A Russian warplane slammed into a residential building in the Siberian city of Irkutsk on October 23, killing two crew members, authorities said. (Video: Igor Kobzev via Storyful)

This is the second such incident in a week. On Monday, a Sukhoi Su-34 plane crashed into a nine-story building in the southern Russian city of Yeysk. That crash killed at least 15 people, according to a Reuters report. At the time, authorities said the cause was likely a “technical failure”. The accident pilots managed to eject and survived.

In both incidents, authorities said the planes were on training flights. highlighting the losses of the Russian Air Force in the war against Ukraine.

Russian fighter jet crashes into apartments in town near Ukraine

Russian authorities did not provide information on what could have caused the accident. The country’s commission of inquiry said it had launched a criminal investigation into possible violations of transport safety rules and had dispatched forensic investigators to the scene.

The United Aircraft Corporation, a Russian state-owned aerospace conglomerate, said in a statement on Sunday that the investigation into the crash would involve experts from the aviation industry. On Sunday evening in Irkutsk, authorities declared a municipal state of emergency in the district where the incident occurred, Russian media reported.

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The back-to-back crashes are problematic for a Russian army battling a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region and public perception back home. Moscow is facing criticism from military analysts who say it is not winning fast enough in Ukraine, and from the Russian population, which has fled en masse to avoid the military mobilization ordered by President Vladimir Putin.

Elsewhere in the region last month, a man shot and wounded an official at a military enlistment post in a small town north of Irkutsk. The shooter was apparently upset that his close friend had been called up to fight in Ukraine despite having had no previous military service.

Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.

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