Four Russian military planes shot down near Ukraine border

Four Russian military planes shot down near Ukraine border – Al Jazeera English reports

A Russian air strike force consisting of a Su-34 fighter-bomber, a Su-35 fighter plane and two Mi-8 helicopters was reportedly shot down before invading Ukrainian territory.

Russia’s Kommersant news agency has reported that two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters were shot down near the Ukrainian border in Russia’s Bryansk region. If confirmed, this would be a stunning military operation for Kiev.

Kommersant, a respected, independent, business-oriented daily, said on its website on Saturday that a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber aircraft, a Su-35 fighter plane and two Mi-8 helicopters that had formed a military attack force, “shot dead “were crushed almost simultaneously” in an ambush in the Bryansk region, bordering northeast Ukraine.

“According to preliminary data…the fighters were to conduct a missile and bombing attack on targets in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were there to support them – including to pick up the ‘Su’ crews, if any .” shot down,” the media company reported.

Kommersant provided no evidence for its report that the four planes were shot down by Ukrainian forces, but the same claim was also made by several heavily pursued military war bloggers.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. There was no official response from Ukraine, which normally refuses to comment on reports of attacks on Russian territory, although pro-Ukrainian social media has been rife with speculation that the downing of the four planes was no accident.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote in a tweet that the Russian planes were about to launch a “missile bombing raid” on Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, but were “destroyed by ‘unidentified persons’,” what he calls “destroyers.” ‘ denoted ‘instant karma’.

“Killers on Wings were destroyed BEFORE the next crime was committed,” he wrote.

Russia’s state news agency TASS reported on Saturday that a Russian Su-34 fighter jet crashed in the region, but gave no cause.

TASS also reported that an ambulance worker said an engine fire in a Russian helicopter led to the crash near the Bryansk town of Klintsy, some 40 km (25 miles) from the border with Ukraine. The report made no mention of the Su-35 crashing or being shot down, nor of a second Russian helicopter.

A video posted on Russia’s Prowar Telegram channel Voyenniy Osvedomitel, which has about half a million followers, showed a helicopter high in the sky suffering an explosion, going off course and then hitting the ground in flames and later in a huge cloud Dense black smoke billowed from what appeared to be the crash site.

Comments on the video, which Portal news agency could not immediately verify, said it showed a missile shooting down a Mi-8. Other images posted by the channel and other military blogging sites showed images of falling planes and debris in fields.

Voyenniy Osvedomitel said it seems that “most likely the enemy staged an ambush with anti-aircraft systems previously moved to a border zone close enough to hit our group”.

It said the helicopters shot down appeared to be Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare aircraft capable of jamming enemy radio and target signals.

The news site Kommersant said all four crew members had been killed.

Ukraine’s The Kyiv Independent reported that Russian authorities are currently looking for “saboteurs” in connection with the destruction of the military plane.

The Institute for the Study of War said geolocated footage of the crash sites placed the incident about 50 km (31 miles) from the Ukrainian border.

“Russian [military bloggers] It was speculated that all four planes went down as a result of a coordinated Ukrainian attack with air defense systems aimed at the border area of ​​Chernihiv Oblast,” the Washington, DC-based think tank reported.

“Several Russian milbloggers used the incident to criticize aspects of the way the Russian Aerospace Forces conduct flight operations and to accuse the leadership responsible for those aircraft of gross negligence and incompetence,” the ISW reported.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine reported numerous Russian drone strikes and multiple explosions in western Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi region. Critical infrastructure was hit and people injured, said the mayor of the regional capital of the same name, Oleksandr Symchyshyn.

According to the authorities, eleven people were injured. According to reports, railway systems were also affected.

According to the Ukrainian military, a total of 18 of 22 Iranian Shahed-131/136 kamikaze drones were shot down during the night attacks, the ISW reported.