Up to 13 people have died and 19 others were injured in relation to a Russian military bomber crashing into the courtyard of an apartment complex in Yeysk, news agency Interfax reported via NBC News.
Three children were among the reported casualties, according to the news agency, which cited Russian assistant minister of health Alexei Kuznetsov.
A plane crashed into the grounds of the apartment complex on Monday (October 17) after several pilots were forced to eject from the aircraft over the town, though it was not confirmed how many.
The defense ministry referred to the crash as an accident that took place after the engine of the SU-34 aircraft ignited during takeoff of a training flight.
A video obtained by NBC News included sounds of sirens and massive flames at the scene of the crash.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was made aware of the situation and sent ministers from his Cabinet, as well as the local governor, to the scene, the Kremlin confirmed on its Telegram channel.
The crash took place near Ukraine, however, there was no immediate proof that the neighboring country, which has been the subject of a Russian invasion since February 24, was involved in the crash.
The apartment crash took place on the same day Ukraine’s capital city was struck by a deadly wave of Russian “kamikaze” drones on Monday, following a previous deadly barrage across the country, NBC News reports.
Ukrainian officials said the attacks were carried out by Iranian-made drones carrying explosives, which they said Russia deployed as the country runs low on precision missiles and once again called for aerial defensive assistance from Western allies.
The attacks come days after the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia was hit by rounds of Russian missile attacks last week.
Missiles struck a school, a medical facility and residential buildings Tuesday (October 11) morning, city council secretary Anatoliy Kurtev announced via the Associated Press.
The State Emergency Service confirmed one person died in the attacks, which included 12 S-300 missles smashing through the public facilities and leaving fire throughout the area.
Russia launched previously two missile attacks in Zaporizhzhia, which resulted in one death and at least five others being trapped near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, on October 6.
Putin claimed the strikes were in retaliation for Ukraine targeting the Kerch Bridge, which he referred to as “terrorist” actions, the Associated Press reports.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, a Russian region in the North Caucasus, said he was “100% happy” with Putin’s recent course of “special military operation” in Ukraine and called for “more drastic measures” to be taken via the Associated Press.
Senior Russian lawmaker Sergei Mironov had previously called on the Kremlin to disregard Western opinion and carry out more attacks on Ukraine.
“It is time for fighting! Fiercely, even cruelly. Without looking back at whatever censures from the West,” Mironov tweeted Saturday (October 8). “There won’t be any bigger sanctions. They won’t say any worse words. We need to do our thing. We started it — we should go till the end. There is no way back. Time to respond!”
Zaporizhzhia is one of four regions that Putin illegally claimed the annexation of, along with Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson.
The documents finalizing the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, which violated international laws, were published on a Russian government website on October 5, days after Ukraine announced it had retaken control of Lyman, a city within Donetsk, the Associated Press reported.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that “certain territories will be reclaimed, and we will keep consulting residents who would be eager to embrace Russia” while addressing reporters during a conference call last Wednesday (October 5).
Putin’s initial announcement of annexation last week came after several previous setbacks during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and prior to the neighboring country reclaiming Lyman.
Pro-Russian officials confirmed that Kremlin troops were on the verge of encirclement in Lyman amid Putin’s announcement last week, while others believed the battle would’ve provided an opening for Ukraine to take back the four territories, according to Reuters.
Last month, Putin announced a partial military mobilization of 300,000 reservists and reiterated warnings to Western allies that he was ready to use nuclear weapons in Moscow’s ongoing invasion of neighboring Ukraine, during a rare, prerecorded television announcement, Reuters reported.
Putin claimed that Ukraine — a country he ordered troops to invade earlier this year — “wants to destroy our country” during the announcement.
“If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect our people – this is not a bluff,” Putin said via Reuters.
Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed that 300,000 reservists with prior military experience would be called up as part of the partial mobilization.
The decision marked Russia’s first mobilization since World War II and the biggest escalation since invaded Ukraine in February.
Ukraine and its Western allies said Putin’s call for more troops signified that his invasion of the neighboring country was failing.
“Absolutely predictable appeal, which looks more like an attempt to justify their own failure,” Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters. “The war is clearly not going according to Russia’s scenario.”
Allies vowed to continue their support of Ukraine amid Putin’s announcement.
Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.