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Ukraine Allegedly Shot Down Two Valuable Russian Aircraft 

Ukrainian air defenses allegedly shot down two valuable Russian aircraft – a Beriev A-50 radar early-warning plane and an Ilyushin Il-22 airborne command post. While Ukrainian media reported the incidents, there is limited concrete evidence. The Ukrainian Air Force was said to have launched this attack on Sunday night, in the Sea of Azov area.

Army chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi shared on a Telegram post: “Ukraine’s Air Force destroyed an enemy A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an enemy IL-22 air control center,”

“I am grateful to the Air Force for the perfectly planned and executed operation in the Azov Sea region!”

In a similar report, Ukraine’s RBC Radio shared what it said was an audio recording of the Il-22’s crew radioing an S-O-S to controllers on the Russian side of the Sea of Azov’s southern coast. The Il-22 is notably part of Russia’s valuable and limited inventory, with only 30 in service.

An A-50 radar early-warning plane, even more valued than the Il-22, was also reportedly destroyed. The A-50 plane can spot targets from 250 miles away and is estimated to cost £250m. Russia has, for long, deployed the four-engine, jet-propelled A-50 in scoping out targets for its long-range missile assaults on Ukraine.

According to Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian English-language media outlet, the A-50 spy plane was shot down after it went on duty in southern Ukraine, ten minutes after the Il-22 airborne command post was struck close to a village just above the Crimean peninsula.

The Russian military is yet to confirm or debunk the claims, leaving room for speculations on if and how the Ukrainian air force achieved the significant attack. If confirmed, this would represent a significant blow to the Russian air force, with Sunday potentially being its worst day in the 23-month conflict.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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