Dramatic footage captures the moment a Russian fighter jet crashes to earth in a huge fireball moments after takeoff, amid Putin’s army’s military collapse in Ukraine.
The Su-25 aircraft was reportedly taking off from the annexed Ukrainian territory of Crimea.
The short clip – believed to have been filmed on Sunday – shows two Sukhoi Su-25s, worth an estimated £9.4m each, take off from an unknown airfield reported to be in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
As the Russian jets take off, they both arc to the left.
Suddenly, one of the jets drops out of the sky, slamming into the ground in an enormous explosion.
As one of the watching men shouts out, a huge fireball erupts from the earth, sending plumes of black smoke pouring into the sky.
The exact cause of the crash is unknown, although it is reported that the pilot lost control of the aircraft.
Su-25s were first developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, and have seen action in the Afghan War, the Syrian Civil War, and the most recent conflict in Ukraine.
The footage of the crash sparked delight among a number of pro-Ukrainian commentators online.
One joked on Twitter: “A Russian Sukhoi Su-25 heroically demilitarising itself in a demonstration of solidarity with Ukraine.”
Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian government adviser, shared the video, writing: “Aerobatics of Russian Su-25 plane on one of the airfields in occupied Crimea. This plane cost about $11 million. If that’s Russian spirit, it looked low.”
The crash came the same day as a Russian Su-34 bomber was accidentally shot down by its own soldiers in an act of friendly fire, according to Ukrainian media.
It comes amid the Russian army’s reported collapse in northeastern Ukraine.
Vlad’s army appears to have suffered an astonishing series of defeats in recent days, with Ukrainian officials estimating to have reclaimed some 3,000 square kilometres of territory from Russia.
If that’s Russian spirit, it looked low Anton Gerashchenko Adviser, Ukrainian Government
It marks the most dramatic shift in Ukrainian land since the start of the war in February.
British intelligence puts the scale of Ukrainian territory recaptured as twice the size of Greater London and including the key city of Izyum.
Footage has emerged of the panicked Russian retreat from a number of former strongholds.
In video shot from a drone, Russian troops fall off a speeding tank which then crashes into a tree amid the humiliating withdrawal.
In retaliation, Putin’s forces have blitzed Ukrainian power stations, plunging nine million into darkness.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the cruise missile attacks caused blackouts among multiple regions including Kharkiv and Donetsk that affected millions.
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