Russian Sukhoi Su-25 crashes after returning from bombing mission; pilot killed

Russian Air Force Su-25
Fedor Leukhin / Wikimedia Commons

A Russian Aerospace Forces Sukhoi Su-25 ground attack aircraft crashed in the country’s Belgorod Region on the morning of February 23, 2023. The pilot was killed.  

According to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry, and reported by Russian state news service TASS, the aircraft was returning from a combat mission. The mission was likely to have been in Ukraine.  

The crash was caused by a “technical malfunction,” the statement said.  

According to TASS, the pilot was killed despite managing to eject in time.  

The crash occurred on the outskirts of a village and resulted in a small fire, TASS added.  

Unconfirmed pictures of the crash site have been shared across Russian and Ukrainian social media pages. 

This is 27th confirmed Russian Su-25 loss since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, according to Oryx blog, which catalogues visual evidence of material losses in the conflict.  

It could also be the fourth non-combat related loss of the type, as at least three Su-25s have crashed in other incidents.   

It is not yet known if the aircraft was damaged by Ukrainian fire prior to the crash.  

An investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched, TASS added. 

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