At least 22 people,

mostly cadets from a military school,

were killed and two others seriously injured when a military plane crashed on Friday night near


eastern Ukraine.

An AFP journalist saw the

partially destroyed

Antonov An-26

transport plane

, near a road and surrounded by police.

In the images released by the authorities on social networks, the plane was seen ravaged by flames.

In photos released by the emergency services, firefighters appeared wetting the remains of the device.

"Twenty-two people died," Vice Interior Minister Anton Guerashchenko told AFP.

"Most of them [were] students" from the Ukrainian air force institute in Jarkiv, the Ukrainian air force added in a statement.

Two people were injured and



were missing,

according to the latest balance of the state emergency service.

A previous balance showed 22 dead, two injured and four missing out of the total of 28 people on board, but it later emerged that a student, who had initially been included among the missing passengers, had not boarded the plane.

"The student

Oleksander Jarchenko

was not admitted on this last minute flight," the air force declared, specifying that the plane was carrying seven crew members and 20 cadets.

The injured were in "critical" condition, regional governor

Oleksi Kucher

said on Facebook


"Terrible tragedy", lamented on Facebook President Volodomir Zelenski, who announced that he will travel to the place on Saturday.

The head of European Union diplomacy,

Josep Borrell,

conveyed his condolences on Twitter to the families and friends of "those who lost their lives."



ordered "the urgent creation of a government commission to clarify the circumstances and causes" of the catastrophe.

The prosecution announced in a statement that it had opened an investigation for "violation of flight rules."

Remains of the military Antonov crashed this Friday in Ukraine SERGEY BOBOKAFP

The Antonov An-26 military transport plane crashed while landing at around 8:50 p.m. local time two kilometers from the


military airport


according to the state emergency service.

The plane

caught fire after the accident

and the fire was put out an hour later.

The city of Chuguev is located about 30 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv and a hundred kilometers west of the front line that separates the territories under the control of the Ukrainian government from those under the

control of the pro-Russian separatists.

"According to preliminary information, it was a training flight," the Ukrainian presidency said in a statement.

In recent years,

several military aircraft have crashed

in Ukraine on training flights.

The Antonov An-26 is a light transport device conceived in Ukraine

in Soviet times.

With a length of 24 meters, it can fly at a cruising speed of 440 km / h.

The Ukrainian army, largely the heir to the Soviet era, suffered from chronic underfunding and was in a sorry state until war broke out with separatists in the east in 2014.

Since then,


with the help of Western countries, has tried to modernize its armed forces but experts consider the results to be rather moderate.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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