A Ukrainian military transport aircraft Antonov 26 crashed near the northeastern town of Chuhuiv, killing at least 27 people on board, most of them air cadets, on Friday morning. There was one survivor. The aircraft crashed in Kharkiv Oblast, a region which borders Russia to the east and the separatist area of Donbass to the south. Fire broke out at the site and was later extinguished. The plane was carrying 20 cadets and seven officers from Kharkiv Air Force University and was on a training flight. Declaring a day of mourning, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he wanted an “objective and unbiased” investigation carried out immediately. He had ordered a halt to all flights in similar planes until the cause of the crash had been established.
Defence Minister Andriy Taran was quoted as saying “the plane likely caught the ground with its wing.” The flight commander requested to land because the left engine had failed. To investigate the cause of the An-26 crash, the government of Ukraine says it has established a joint commission that includes the ministry of defence, ministry of internal affairs, a local state government official and the country’s deputy prime minister.