Accessibility links

Breaking News

Two Pilots Killed In Military Plane Crash In Belarus

Rescue workers at the scene of the crash on the outskirts of Baranavichy on May 19.
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash on the outskirts of Baranavichy on May 19.

BARANAVICHY, Belarus -- A military jet exploded after crashing into the ground near private houses on the outskirts of the city of Baranavichy in western Belarus, killing two pilots.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said in a statement on May 19 that the Yak-130 aircraft from a military airbase located in the city of Lida, suffered a technical malfunction during a training flight.


"The pilots showed courage and heroism, trying to divert the falling plane from a village. After making sure that the trajectory of the plane crash was outside the residential buildings, the pilots ejected. Unfortunately, both pilots died," the ministry’s statement said.

It named the deceased as Major Andrey Nichyparchyk, a combat squadron commander in charge of the training, and pilot Lieutenant Mikita Kukanenka.

The independent online media outlet placed videos and pictures on Telegram from the site of the accident, showing debris from the crash that hit vehicles and buildings near a residential area.

Witnesses say, the explosion shattered windows in dozens of apartment blocks in the vicinity.

Rescue teams and firefighters are working at the site.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service

    RFE/RL's Belarus Service is one of the leading providers of news and analysis to Belarusian audiences in their own language. It is a bulwark against pervasive Russian propaganda and defies the government’s virtual monopoly on domestic broadcast media.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.