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Dramatic moment Putin’s £32m Su-27 fighter jet plunges in flames into Black Sea after ‘friendly fire strike’ off Crimea – The Sun

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THIS is the dramatic moment Vladimir Putin’s £32 million Su-27 fighter jet plunges into flames in the Black Sea.

Footage shows the pilot ejecting from the burning aircraft and launching his parachute before it explodes into a fireball inferno.

The aircraft could be seen plummeting through the air after bursting into flames

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The aircraft could be seen plummeting through the air after bursting into flamesCredit: East2West
The moment one of Putin’s Su-27 warplanes crashed into the Black Sea by Sevastopol, occupied Crimea

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The moment one of Putin’s Su-27 warplanes crashed into the Black Sea by Sevastopol, occupied CrimeaCredit: East2West

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The plane could be seen hurtling through the sky as onlookers watched on with horror from below.

The aircraft eventually smashed into the sea off annexed Sevastopol in Crimea, but not before the pilot managed to escape within an inch of his life.

Reports claim that he was eventually picked up alive some 600ft offshore.

But questions remain over how the plane was left in flames before its dramatic descent.

One theory is that the supersonic fighter was shot down by friendly fire.

If confirmed, it would be another major humiliation for Putin, having already suffered countless blows to his multi-million pound aviation armoury.

In December, a Russian fighter pilot barely escaped death after a rocket launcher fired into the sky as an Su-25 warplane flew overhead.

Extraordinary footage captured the hair-raising moment the Putin fighter flew at a low altitude and was nearly struck – by his own side.

The plane downed in today’s attack was initially thought to be a £67 million super-manoeuvrable Su-35 fighter.

But the Putin-appointed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, indicated it was a £32 million Su-27.

D​ramatic moment burning Russian warplane plunges from the sky and explodes ‘in Ukrainian missile strike’

Confirming the status of the pilot following the crash, he said: “The pilot ejected.

“He was picked up by rescuers from the Sevastopol Rescue Service at a distance of 200 metres [660ft] from the shore.

“His life is not in danger.”

The pro-war FighterBomber Telegram channel also said it was an Su-27.

“It looks like it’s been shot down,” said the channel’s report, which also said the pilot had been “lifted” from the sea.

Military Informant Telegram channel said: “According to one version, the plane was shot down by air defence fire during an air raid alarm.

“According to another, there was a technical malfunction of the engine.”

WarGonzo channel said: “The plane, presumably a Su-27 fighter, crashed into the sea.

“The causes of the crash are being established.”

In January, an SU-34 fighter jet worth £27m was destroyed by Ukraine in a top secret mission.

Ukraine claimed they set the Russian warplane on fire 1,400miles inside enemy territory, leaving it a burning wreck in an airfield.

But the latest incident comes after Ukraine claims to have damaged four warships in three days with missile strikes in Sevastopol this week.

Confirmation is still awaited on the extent of the damage to three large landing ships – the Yamal, Azov and Konstantin Olshansky – and £80 million 312ft-long Ivan Khurs.

Dramatic footage showed the moment military bases in the annexed peninsula were blitzed in an overnight barrage, with the Yamal and Azov warships confirmed hits.

Both damaged vessels are Ropucha-class landing ships, 370ft long, 4,000 ton behemoths designed for D-Day-style amphibious assaults.

Ukraine has attacked this type of ship before – sinking their sister ships Tsezar Kunikov and Novocherkassk.

Putin has since ramped up his nuclear threats against Nato as he warned any F-16 jets supplied by the West will be blown out of the sky.

The dictator vowed attacks on Nato airfields if Ukraine used them to launch the game-changing supersonic fighters against Russia.

During a visit to a military training facility in Torzhok, Putin told airforce pilots that F-16s are “carriers of nuclear weapons” – and Russian forces would completely destroy them just like any other military equipment.

The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft before it crashed into the sea

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The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft before it crashed into the seaCredit: East2West
Putin has lost yet another of his SU-27 fighter jets

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Putin has lost yet another of his SU-27 fighter jetsCredit: UK MOD Crown
Residents watched on in horror as the plane hurtled over houses

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Residents watched on in horror as the plane hurtled over housesCredit: East2West
One of Putin’s Su-27 warplanes crashes into the Black Sea by Sevastopol, Crimea

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One of Putin’s Su-27 warplanes crashes into the Black Sea by Sevastopol, CrimeaCredit: East2West

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