MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. A Russian Aerospace Forces Su-25 strike craft crashed during the operation in Ukraine due to a piloting mistake, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said Thursday, adding that the pilot is alive.
"A Russian Aerospace Forces Su-25 strike aircraft crashed due to a piloting mistake. The pilot ejected successfully and is already at his military unit," he said.
On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics amid the serious escalation of the situation in Donbass. The sides signed treaties of friendship, cooperation and mutual aid.
On Thursday morning, Putin announced that he made a decision to begin a special military operation in response to the republics’ request. The Russian leader underscored that Moscow does not plan to occupy Ukrainian territories. Russian Defense Ministry announced that the Russian military does not target Ukrainian cities, underscoring that only military infrastructure is being neutralized with precision strikes. Ukrainian civilians are not in danger, the Ministry said.