“The soldiers of the Ukrainian Air Force destroyed an enemy A-50 radar reconnaissance aircraft and an Il-22 air control post,” the chief of the Army General Staff boasted on social networks. Valeri Zaluzhny.
“Many thanks to the Air Force for an excellently planned and executed operation in the Azov region,” wrote the military leader, who did not specify the method used by his troops or the exact location of the shoot-down, although he attached a video to his Telegram account in which You can see how Planes disappear from radar over the Sea of Azov.
He A-50 Beriev It is an early warning and control aircraft. It is equipped with a large radar that can simultaneously track 150 targets within a radius of 230 kilometers and even detect air targets at a distance of up to 650 kilometers. The crew consists of 15 people. The Russian Air Force has a fleet of nine aircraft of this type.
He Il-22 It is a four-engine bomber converted into an airborne command post. It is used to monitor military operations and relay radio signals to troops stationed at the front. It is estimated that the Russian Air Force would have a dozen aircraft of this type.
The demolitions meant it A significant setback for Russian aviation. One of the heaviest blows since the invasion began nearly two years ago due to the aircraft's characteristics, analysts say.
Since the beginning of the war, Russia clear air superiority, a factor that makes it possible to hit the entire Ukrainian national geography. The Ukrainian army has managed to shoot down enemy aircraft with its artillery and in air combat, as well as in notorious sabotage operations against airfields on Russian territory, including Ukraine's annexed Crimean peninsula.
Russian war bloggers claimed without evidence that they were hit by friendly fire and that the Il-22 was merely damaged. According to the RBC-Ukraine news agency, the air control post over the Sea of Azov was hit, which is why he had to make an emergency landing in the Russian city of Anapa. Although later the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuri Ignat, posted on his Facebook profile a picture of the Russian Il-22 that would have been hit. “There is no possibility of repair,” he cheered.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry PeskovHe said he had no information on the matter, according to state news agency TASS. “This is an issue that concerns the progress of the military special operation,” he said, recommending the media consult the Defense Ministry.