This is the dramatic leaked footage showing a Russian fighter jet sinking in the Mediterranean Sea after falling off an aircraft in a new embarrassing moment for Vladimir Putin.
The footage posted to several military-focused Telegram channels shows Russia’s twin-engine Sukhoi Su-33 aircraft in the ocean while still seemingly attached to the vessel it attempted to land on.
Thick dark smoke can be seen billowing from the remaining parts of the plane bobbling on the water’s surface in the clip which appears to have been filmed from just below the deck of the 1,000ft Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft cruiser.
A helicopter can also be heard in an apparent attempt to rescue the jet’s pilot after he had ejected from his aircraft, seemingly unharmed.
The humiliating moment is believed to have occurred in December 2016.
Russia’s Defence Ministry claimed at the time the fighter jet crashed into the sea after returning from a mission to its own navy’s flagship aircraft carrier.
It also pointed the blame at “the failure of the arrester system’s cable”.
But this was the second embarrassing loss in a matter of weeks as in November of that year, a MiG-29 fighter jet also crashed into the sea while attempting to land on the Admiral Kuznetsov.
Both wrecks are believed to have been rescued by specialists from Russia a year after they sank.
The Russian navy’s flagship carrier was deployed to the eastern Mediterranean that same year but was mysteriously ordered back just months later.
It has not been seen in action since 2018 and for the past five years, has been in a drydock awaiting a refit and an upgrade.
It could be several months before the Admiral Kuznetsov is seen in international waters again, although Russian officials have warned this could be delayed if any issues occur.
The aircraft has suffered a catalog of embarrassing mishaps in recent years and in December 2022 caught fire while moored in Murmansk – a port city in northwestern Russia.
Three years earlier in 2019, it had also been engulfed in flames, which killed at least one worker and left nearly a dozen others injured.
In 2018, the Admiral Kuznetsov suffered substantial damage after a huge crane crashed down onto it, killing one worker and injuring four others.
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