When a military aircraft of the type Antonov AN-26 at least 25 people died in eastern Ukraine. The civil defense announced in Kiev on Friday evening. Accordingly, there were also two survivors in the disaster in Chuhujiw in the Kharkiv region.
The cause of the crash was initially unclear. President Volodimir Zelensky announced that he would get an idea of the situation on site this Saturday. Area governor Alexej Kutschera announced that there were dead and injured. He was on the way to the site of the accident, he wrote on the Telegram news channel. The Ukrainian military also confirmed the crash on Facebook.
According to the authorities, there were 27 people on board the Antonov, mostly young recruits from the Air Force University. It is said to have been a training flight. The aircraft crashed on the approach to the runway. At first there was talk of 28 inmates, but one trainee did not appear to the exercise.
A wreck burning in the dark could be seen in pictures on social networks. A little later there were videos of the cleared rubble, which was widely scattered in an uninhabited area with trees.
Crash not in the Ukrainian war zone
A total of seven crew members and 21 university students were on board, it said. Two inmates were seriously injured. The health of the rest of the people on board was unclear. They were officially missing, as the civil defense announced. The authorities had previously increased the number of deaths again and again.
The region is around 40 kilometers from the Russian border in the east of crisis-ridden Ukraine, but not in the war zone there. War is officially raging in parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that are 250 kilometers from the crash site. There Russia-backed separatists face Ukrainian government forces. According to United Nations estimates, more than 13,000 deaths have occurred in the war since 2014.
The EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell reacted with dismay to the news from Ukraine, which he himself visited for the first time this week. He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyi on the short message service Twitter. EU Council President Charles Michel made a similar statement. “Europe mourns with you and wishes the survivors a full recovery.” He expressed his condolences to all relatives and friends as well as to President Zelensky. Zelensky wants to visit the site of the accident this Saturday.