Russian military plane explodes in fireball on runway
A Russian military plane carrying a mystery cargo exploded in a fireball as it took off from a remote airbase in Tajikistan.
The 164ft Il-76 plane was on the runway when an engine erupted in flames.
The crew and any passengers escaped before the blaze engulfed the hulking military transporter.
The plane is believed to have been carrying out a mission for Vladimir Putin’s war effort in Ukraine.
Second Il-76 to explode in a month
This is the second Il-76 to explode on a runway in the past month.
In September, another one of the Russian-made planes was filmed as it careened off a runway in Africa and exploded into a fireball.
The cause of the explosions is not yet known, but they are likely to raise further questions about the safety of Russia’s aging military aircraft.
Cargo linked to Wagner mercenary group
The cargo on board the plane that exploded in Tajikistan has not been disclosed, but there are suspicions that it may have been linked to the Wagner mercenary group.
Wagner is a private military company that has been accused of carrying out war crimes in Ukraine, Syria, and other countries.
The group is closely linked to the Kremlin, and it is believed that it is used by the Russian government to carry out its dirty work.
Wagner denies involvement
Wagner has denied any involvement in the plane crash in Tajikistan.
However, the group’s close ties to the Kremlin and its history of involvement in shady operations suggest that it is possible that it was involved in some way.
The explosions of the two Il-76 planes are a reminder of the risks involved in Russia’s military operations.
The aging aircraft are prone to accidents, and the secrecy surrounding the cargo they carry only adds to the concerns.