The cadets were from the Kharkiv University of Air Force, which is run by the defence ministry.
A military transport plane carrying air force cadets has crashed and burst into flames near a highway in north-eastern Ukraine, killing at least 22 people on board, officials have said
Ukraine Air Force freight plane An-26 crashed near #Kharkov (203rd Air Brig) during training, with 5 crew members and 18 trainees on board.
The Antonov An-26 aircraft crashed while trying to land during a training exercise, Rusland Khomchak from the General Staff of the Armed Forces said in a statement.
Two other people on board were seriously injured and four people were missing.
Video posted by Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko on Facebook showed the plane in flames lying near a road and smoke billowing upwards in the night sky
One pilot reported failure in the left engine of the twin-engined plane, said Oleksiy Kucher, the governor of the Kharkiv region, according to Interfax Ukraine, adding this would not have been a critical situation for an experienced pilot.
Citing preliminary information, Mr Kucher said that some of the people on board managed to jump out of the plane when it was at low altitude.
An eyewitness who was driving along the road towards Chuhuiv told Reuters he saw a man in flames running from the plane after it crashed.
“Another car stopped behind us. We took a fire extinguisher and ran with another driver to help him,” said Yaroslav, who gave only his first name.
“Another man came from the plane. He had a cut on his head. We pulled him to the opposite side (of the road). The one who was on fire, we put the fire out.”
The crash happened around 2 kilometres from a military airport, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in a statement. It said 28 people had been on board the plane.