Russia: Aftermath of fighter jet crash in Belgorod region
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Footage from the ground has captured the scattered remains of a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft burning in flames after it allegedly clipped a power line near the Russian city of Belgorod, located 40 kilometres north of the Ukrainian border. The administrative city is on the Seversky River, which runs southward into Ukrainian territory near the besieged city of Severodonetsk. The footage shows a blackened grass plain in flames as bits of the helicopter lie broken and burning across the floor.
Russian military losses have been significant since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
While official estimates from Putin’s officials have suggested figures are significantly lower than anticipated, Ukraine’s Armed Forces have released data showing more than 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed since February.
Regarding equipment losses, Ukraine claims thousands of aircraft, weapons systems, and tanks have been immobilised during the conflict.
It comes as experts warn that Russian forces are dwindling rapidly and Putin will soon be forced to make a difficult decision over how to proceed with the offensive in Ukraine during the summer.
Meanwhile, Russia reportedly struck the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv with missiles on Friday morning, killing two people and wounding 20, including a child, the region’s governor said.
The attack damaged four residential buildings and an infrastructure facility, Governor Vitaliy Kim added.
A video posted on social media showed two missiles hitting the ground and causing a large explosion with clouds rising above multi-storey buildings.
The attack is the latest in a series of assaults in the southern regions of Ukraine as Russia refocuses its efforts in the Donbas.
And the European Commission will recommend today that the European Union designate Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for membership, with Georgia being asked to meet certain conditions before being granted the same status, diplomats said.
While some EU countries including the Netherlands and Denmark do not support more countries becoming EU membership candidates, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly won the backing of France, Germany, Italy, and Romania during their visit to Kyiv yesterday
The Commission, the EU executive, is expected to make its proposal around this morning.
That will pave the way for EU government leaders to sign off on it at a summit next Thursday and Friday in Brussels in what will be a morale boost for Ukraine as it fights Russia’s invasion.
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EU candidate status, sought by Ukraine since 2014 when protests in Kyiv toppled an unpopular pro-Russian president, would be a milestone in its path from a former Soviet republic towards a developed economy in the world’s largest trading bloc.
However, the path towards membership is expected to take years, requiring deep reforms tackling endemic corruption.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen singled out corruption during a visit to Kyiv on June 11.
But according to watchdog Transparency International, Ukraine is perceived as one of the world’s most corrupt countries, ranked 122 out of 180 states, which could prove a stumbling block to their accession.
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