Russian news outlet Kommersant has reported that two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters were shot down close to the Ukrainian border in Russia’s Bryansk region in what would be a stunning military operation for Kyiv if confirmed.
Ukrainian forces fired multiple rounds of AIM-120 AMRAAM-ER destroying Russian Su-34M, Su-35S and two helicopters.
According to the manufacturers, the National Advanced Surface-to-air Missiles (NASAMS) is based on Raytheon AMRAAM-ER air-launched missile, sophisticated fire control radar and command systems developed by Kongsberg Norway and Raytheon America. The missile can intercept fighter jets, bombers, helicopters, drones and cruise missiles at a range of 50km.
The Telegram channel Baza said a total of nine personnel — members of the crew of two Mi-8 helicopters and SU-34 and SU-35 aircraft — had been killed.
Kommersant, a respected, independent business-focused daily, said on its website on Saturday that a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber, Su-35 fighter, and two Mi-8 helicopters that had made up a military raiding party were “shot down almost simultaneously” in an ambush in the Bryansk region, adjoining northeast Ukraine.
“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,” the media outlet reported.
Kommersant provided no evidence for its report that the four aircraft had been downed by Ukrainian forces, but the same assertion was also made by several heavily followed prowar military bloggers.
Russia’s Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. There was no official response from Ukraine, which usually declines to comment on reports of attacks within Russian territory, though pro-Ukrainian social media was awash with speculation that the downing of the four aircraft was not accidental.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote in a tweet that the Russian aircraft had intended to launch a “missile-bomb attack” on Ukraine’s Chernihiv region but were “destroyed by ‘unidentified persons’”, which he described as “instant karma”.
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