Three Russian military aircraft have crashed since Jan. 18, leaving at least five crew members dead at a time when the Russian Air Force is engaged in increasing aggressive aerial operations worldwide.
- On Friday, two Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers collided during a training mission over the Sea of Japan, the Ministry of Defense announced. One of the four crew members aboard was recovered alive.
- On Tuesday, a Tupolev Tu-22M3 crashed while landing a blizzard at a military airfield north of the Arctic Circle, Russian state media first reported. Three of the four crew members aboard were reportedly killed in the incident.
- All three aircraft were participating in training exercises and unarmed at the time of their respective accidents, according to media reports.
- It's worth noting that the Su-34 was designed, per FighterSweep, to eventually replace the Tu-22M3 among other aging aircraft from Russia's Soviet-era fleet.