DRAMATIC footage captured a Russian fighter jet crashing into the sea just off a packed tourist beach.
In the latest embarrassment for Vladimir Putin, the Su-25 aircraft nosedived into the Sea of Azov near the town of Yeysk on Monday.
The Su-25 fighter jet was seen hurtling towards the Sea of Azov on Monday
The jet smashed into the water as horrified beachgoers watched on
The pilot reportedly managed to eject himself and escape with a parachuteEast2West
Footage shared on social media shows the plane hurtling towards the water before it smashes into the sea with an almighty splash.
A search and rescue helicopter then began circling above a crowd of swimmers on a nearby tourist beach as fears for the pilot grew.
However, he had reportedly managed to eject himself from the doomed jet just in time and also plunged into the sea a short distance away.
In another video, the pilot can be seen parachuting down as the Su-25 was engulfed by the waves just a matter of metres away.
The impact of his hefty tumble into the ocean reportedly broke both of his legs.
Local news claim he was “unconscious” when rescuers finally reached him and that he was taken to hospital in a “critical condition.”
The pilot reportedly abandoned the aircraft as soon as he realised it was losing altitude.
According to Baza, a Russian Telegram channel with links to the security services, as the canopy of the parachute fell, “the lines became tangled.”
It continued: “The pilot swallowed water and almost drowned. However, he was able to hold out until rescuers arrived.
“Now he has already been delivered to the shore, the pilot is being resuscitated.”
But according to The Moscow Times, the Mash and Baza Telegram channels said that emergency crews ultimately failed to save the pilot, who reportedly could not be resuscitated on the way to the hospital after breaking his legs and getting tangled in his parachute.
The waterlogged Su-25 was left “sticking out of the shallows” off a popular tourist beach in the Krasnodar region.
The crash was caused by an “engine failure,” the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don said.
The aircraft is believed to have run into trouble shortly after taking off from a nearby military airport.
Russian military authorities said the Su-25 fighter jet crashed after taking off from the local airfield for a training flight, local media reported.
A helicopter was seen in the air in the wake of the incident.
Yeysk lies across the Sea of Azov from the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine‘s Donetsk region.
One theory was that the pilot delayed ejecting to guide the aircraft away from houses and people.
A Ukrainian report said: “Nobody shot him down.”
The crash will come as another substantial blow to Putin, who is again mourning the destruction of his beloved £3billion Crimea Bridge.
Two massive explosions rocked the 12-mile crossing in the early hours of Monday morning, killing a couple and injuring their teen daughter.
Russia immediately pointed the finger at Ukraine, with the head of the Crimean parliament Vladimir Konstantinov blaming the attack on the “terrorist regime in Kyiv.”
Reports claim that Ukraine may have launched a kamikaze drone attack on Putin’s prized bridge to disrupt its military supply route.
Debris from a suspected “jet-ski-style” kamikaze marine drone was found near the bridge, Mash media outlet reported.
It has now been claimed that Ukraine’s Security Service and Naval Forces orchestrated the attack.
The insider claimed the bridge had been targeted with surface drones, saying: “It was difficult to reach the bridge, but in the end it was possible.”
Russia’s anti-terrorist committee said the strikes were carried out using unmanned drones on the water’s surface.
It confirmed they had already opened a criminal investigation while claiming Ukrainian “special services” were behind the ambush.
Ukraine’s security service fuelled speculation by sharing a cryptic message seemingly referring to the damage caused to the Kerch Bridge.
Mockingly repurposing a popular lullaby, the SBU wrote on Telegram: “Nightingale, dear brother,/The bridge went ‘to sleep’ again/But once… Two!”
But Ukraine’s southern military command has suggested the incident could be a Russian “provocation”.
Army spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk claimed the explosion may have been plotted by Putin because of his reluctance to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
The deal allowing Ukraine to continue exporting its agricultural products expired today – and Russia has now refused to renew it.
Crimean Wind Telegram channel said: “The explosion of the Crimean bridge is beneficial to Putin as an excuse to break the ‘grain deal’ in order to prevent Ukraine from gaining billions of dollars from the sale of grain.”
Senior Russian politician Sergei Mironov had called for his country to scrap the Black Sea agreement in response to the bridge blast.
The warplane made a spectacular splash as it hit the water near a tourist beachEast2West
Russia’s Su-25 jets have been used in the war in Ukraine