Zelenskiy confirms fatal mid-air collision, mourns loss of three military pilots

Three Ukrainian military pilots lost their lives in a harrowing mid-air collision involving two L-39 trainer aircraft over a western region of the nation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy confirmed the incident during a televised address on Saturday.

Zelenskiy, who places great emphasis on the rapid training of Ukrainian aviation crews for the operation of up to 61 F-16 fighter jets committed by international allies, paid tribute to the fallen pilots.

Among them was Andriy Pilshchykov, whom Zelenskiy hailed as “a devoted Ukrainian officer, a driving force behind our nation.”

The Ukrainian Air Force disclosed that the tragic collision transpired in the Zhytomyr region situated in central Ukraine. Notably, Pilshchykov, renowned by the callsign “Juice,” had gained prominence for his extensive interactions with the global media, as reported.

Expressing heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the pilots, Zelenskiy reaffirmed Ukraine’s unwavering commitment, stating, “Ukraine will forever honor those who valiantly safeguarded the skies of our cherished nation.”