A Russian Air Force Antonov An-26 transport plane is reported to have crashed in the Russian Voronezh Region, about 100 km north of the Russia-Ukraine border.
All crew members on board died in the crash, the defence ministry said Thursday.
The crash took place as Russian troops had crossed the Ukrainian border and were closing in on the capital Kyiv Thursday after the Kremlin ordered a massive invasion of its neighbour.
Photos are circulating on social media, showing the burnt wreckage of an An-26, serial RF-36074.
The defence ministry blamed equipment failure for the crash, which it said had not caused any destruction on the ground.
“During a planned flight to transport military equipment, an An-26 aircraft of the Russian aerospace forces crashed,” the defence ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies. “The crew died,” the statement said, without providing any details.
Also, according to the Voronezh No. 1 Telegram channel, an An-26 plane was carrying several paratroopers and crew members.
Eyewitnesses claim that the plane began to smoke in the air, possibly due to the fall of the projectile.
At the scene of the accident, they managed to find seven machine guns, cartridges and several fragmentation grenades.
An-26 planes carry up to six crew members and up to 38 military personnel.