Russian President Vladimir Putin's military suffered further embarrassment today after one of its planes overshot a runway and exploded into a ball of fire in occupied Crimea.
The unfortunate incident happened at Belbek Airport, which sits right on the edge of the Black Sea.
According to local reports, the plane had munitions on board which detonated as the aircraft overshot the runway and fell off a cliff in Sevastopol.
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Video of the incident quickly did the rounds on Russian social media, with locals wondering whether or not it was a missile strike from Ukraine.
However, there were no immediate reports of missile strikes on the plane or airport by Ukraine, and it quickly became clear that this was just a very unfortunate event.
It was unclear if there were casualties but it was reported that the pilot managed to escape.
Videos showed noxious smoke pouring from the scene.
First to report the latest horror for Vladimir Putin were holiday makers on nearby beaches in the tourist peninsula annexed in 2014.
The type of plane was unclear but the airport is used as a base for multiple warplanes by Putin's forces – prior to Putin's capture of the area, it was used as an international passenger airport.
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Crimean governor Mikhail Razvozhaev called the explosion an “extraordinary situation”.
“According to information from rescuers, during landing the plane skidded off the runway and caught fire,” he said.
“The fire brigade is currently on the scene – please remain calm.”
Smoke from the inferno plane was visible from different areas of the city which is the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Crimea has been targeted previously by Ukrainian special forces hit squads, according to reports.
The governor said later: "The aircraft went beyond the runway during landing, and there was a partial explosion of ammunition.
"The pilot managed to evacuate, and the fire was quickly extinguished and the airfield was not damaged."
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