a Russian pilot who was killed when his plane crashed

The Russian plane crashed near Gao on Tuesday.

A Russian pilot died Tuesday in Mali when his plane recently delivered to the Malian army crashed near Gao, a military official said on condition of anonymity.

The staff confirmed in a brief statement on social media that a plane crashed near Gao Airport around 9:30 am (local time and GMT). after returning from a civilian support mission “. The staff said nothing about possible victims. Neither he nor the military official of the Gao command spoke about the reasons for the crash.

Video provided to AFP by a witness shows a plane descending at high speed and low altitude and is about to crash in a puff of smoke in the distance.

The staff spoke of a Sukhoi Su-25, while the military official had previously identified the aircraft as an Albatros L-39. The official had stated that the plane was among the ” new acquisitions the Malian army.

The Soviet-designed Sukhoi S-25 ground-attack and close-support aircraft and the Czechoslovak-designed L-39 Albatross aircraft, originally intended for training but often used as a fighter, were among the pieces of equipment released by Russia in August were delivered to the Malian army.

rapprochement with Russia

In March, then August, Mali received new military hardware, including fighter jets and helicopters, from its Russian partner.

The colonels, who violently seized power in that country in August 2020 amid security turmoil, have decided to part ways with the old French ally, which has been militarily engaged against the jihadists since 2013, and to vigorously resume cooperation with Russia.

Mali has welcomed in large numbers what the junta presents as Russian trainers.

For their part, France and its partners denounce the junta’s use of the services of the private Russian security company Wagner, which is being denounced. The junta denies and speaks of a previous partnership with the Russian army.

Russia had admitted Wagner’s presence in Mali in May.” on a commercial basis “.

Mali has been in turmoil since 2012. The jihadist spread, which was initially limited to the north of the country, has spread to central and southern Mali and to the neighboring countries of Burkina Faso and Niger.

SEE ALSO – Mali: “There will be an expansion of the jihadist threat”

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