Russian plane bursts into fireball mid-air before horror crash on way to Ukraine

A Russian military plane burst into flames and crashed while on its way to support Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The Ilyushin-76 cargo plane was spotted on fire above the Russian city of Ryazan (125 miles southeast of Moscow) immediately after refuelling there.

It was forced into an emergency landing behind a busy residential tower, exploding as it touched down.

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A large plume of black smoke was visible following the impact.

Nine crew members were onboard, at least four of which were killed with the rest in a "grave" condition after being rushed to hospital.

Three of those killed – Vladimir Petrushin, Nikolai Gorbunov, and Dmitry Andreev – died at the crash site, while a fourth died in hospital.

It is understood that there were no civilian casualties on the ground, despite the plane crashing close to both shops and residential areas.

In a terrifying clip of the crash, a voice can be heard saying: "Its all in flames, look.”

Another says: “It’s flying at us… so scary, it’s flying at us… it’s going to hit the houses, look."

As the plane smashes into the ground someone exclaims: "This is it!"

The Ilyushin-76 reportedly suffered a major engine failure following its refuelling stop in Ryazan.

Its journey started further east in the city of Orenburg and it was headed for Belgorod, the capital of the Russian region of the same name and right on the border with Ukraine.

Ryazan is an important staging point for the Russian military heading for Ukraine, as well as a key base for the Russian paratroopers who have been decimated during the conflict.

This comes after another major plane crash in Russia this week, where the pilot managed to save the lives of everyone onboard.

All seven people on board the Antonov-30 lived after the aircraft dropped off radar and was reported as missing before crashing in the heart of Siberia.

Captain Yevgeny Kudashov, 67, was piloting the flight from Yakutsk to Olenyok and received praise from his co-pilot, Vladimir Vinogradov, for the quick thinking.

Vinogradov, who suffered a spinal injury because of the crash landing, said: "The engines stopped. The commander made the right decision.

"He is very experienced, landed it skillfully. We all helped him, all the crew. As you see, there were no casualties."

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