As per a report by the Russian news outlet Kommersant, four Russian military aircraft, including two fighter jets and two military helicopters, were shot down near the Ukrainian border on Saturday. The incident reportedly occurred in the Bryansk region, close to northeast Ukraine, and, if confirmed, would be a significant victory for Kyiv.
As per the report published on the Kommersant website, the raiding party reportedly comprised a Su-34 fighter bomber, a Su-35 fighter, and two Mi-8 helicopters.
The aircrafts were reportedly “shot down almost simultaneously” in the ambush. The fighter jets were allegedly intended to deliver a missile and bomb attack on targets in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, with the helicopters providing backup support and recovery for the fighter jet crews.
Kommersant claims that all four crews were killed in the incident.
“According to preliminary data … the fighters were supposed to deliver a missile and bomb attack on targets in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were there to back them up – among other things to pick up the ‘Su’ crews if they were shot down.”
Although Kommersant did not provide any evidence for the downing of four aircraft, other pro-war military bloggers have also made similar claims.
The Moscow Defence Ministry is yet to make a statement about the crash or the alleged ambush.
However, the Russian state news agency TASS reported that a Russian Su-34 warplane has crashed in the Bryansk region. The report fails to mention the cause of the crash.
Citing emergency services, TASS also reported that a helicopter had crashed near Klintsy — about 40 km (25 miles) from the border — due to an engine fire. It made no mention of a second helicopter or the Su-35.
However, as per Reuters, a video posted on the Russian pro-war Telegram channel Voyenniy Osvedomitel appeared to show a helicopter exploding in mid-air, being thrown off course, and then plunging towards the ground in flames. The video’s comments reportedly suggest that the helicopter, a Mi-8, was shot down by a missile, which led to its crash.
The Russian pro-war Telegram channel Voyenniy Osvedomitel suggested that an ambush with air defences had been staged, and the downed helicopters were Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare craft, which can jam enemy radio and target signals.
“Most likely, the enemy staged an ambush with air defences previously transferred to a border zone close enough to hit our group,” it said.
No official response from Ukraine has been made, but Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the incident “Justice … and instant karma” in a tweet.
An air group of two SU fighter jets (34 and 35) and two support helicopters flew over the Bryansk region to launch a “missile-bomb attack” (officially) on the civilian population of Chernihiv region in Ukraine. The air group was destroyed by “unidentified persons.” Justice, as it…— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) May 13, 2023
“An air group of two SU fighter jets (34 and 35) and two support helicopters flew over the Bryansk region to launch a “missile-bomb attack” (officially) on the civilian population of Chernihiv region in Ukraine. The air group was destroyed by “unidentified persons.” Justice, as it is, and instant karma… “Killers on wings” were destroyed BEFORE the next crime would be committed…,” he wrote.
SOURCE: inputs from News agencies