A Ukrainian plane crash has left 22 dead after a military aircraft burst into a ball of flames.

The aircraft came down near the city of Kharkiv as it was landing.

It was believed to be carrying cadets from Kharkiv Air Force University and was on a training flight with 27 on board.

A search operation is continuing throughout the night.

There were believed to be five crew members on board and 22 other passengers.

The aircraft crashed around 2km from a military airport in the town of Chuhuiv, according to emergency ministry officials.

A search and rescue operation is continuing throughout the night

Initial reports claimed one of the engines suffered a malfunction, although this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Footage and images from the scene appear to show the aircraft crashed next to a main road. with some drivers filming the inferno from their cars as they drove by.

Fire broke out at the site and was later extinguished.

Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko told AFP news agency. "It's a shock.

"At the moment it's impossible to establish the cause."

President Volodymyr Zelensky is planning on travelling to the region tomorrow, reports the BBC.

A commission was also being created to investigate what happened.