2 Russian Fighter Jets and 2 Helicopters Shot Down Near Ukrainian Border

2 Russian Fighter Jets and 2 Helicopters Shot Down Near Ukrainian Border
2 Russian Fighter Jets and 2 Helicopters Shot Down Near Ukrainian Border

Kiev - Russian news outlet Kommersant reports two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters were shot down near the Ukrainian border in Russia's Bryansk region in what would be a stunning military operation for Kiev if confirmed.

Kommersant, an independent business-focused daily, said on its website a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter jet, a Su-35, and two Mi-8 helicopters that had formed a military strike group were shot down almost simultaneously in an ambush in the Bryansk region, which borders with northeastern Ukraine.

“According to preliminary data the fighter jets were supposed to deliver missile and bomb strikes on targets in Ukraine's Chernihiv region, and helicopters were there to support them – among other things to pick up the 'Su' crew if they were shot down,” the Russian media outlet reported. as quoted from Al Jazeera.

Kommersant provided no evidence for its report that the four planes had been shot down by Ukrainian forces, but similar statements were made by several well-followed prowar military bloggers. The Kommersant news website said all four crew members died.

Russia's 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 inside Russia, although pro-Ukrainian social media was awash with speculation that the downing of the four planes was accidental.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's senior adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said in a tweet that the Russian plane intended to launch a missile bomb attack in Ukraine's Chernihiv region but was destroyed by "unidentified persons", which he described as a direct reply.

"The 'winged killer' is destroyed BEFORE the next crime is committed," he wrote. Russia's state news agency TASS reported that a Russian Su-34 fighter had crashed in the region but did not specify a cause. TASS also reported an emergency services official as saying an engine fire in a Russian helicopter had caused it to crash near the town of Klintsy in Bryansk, about 40 km from the border with Ukraine. The report made no mention of the Su-35 fighter jet or the second Russian helicopter that went down or was shot down.

A video posted on Russia's prowar Telegram channel Voyenniy Osvedomitel, which has about half a million followers, shows a helicopter high in the sky experiencing an explosion, being sent flying off course, and then crashing to the ground in flames and then a huge plume of thick black smoke rising from visible crash site.

Comments accompanying the video, which Reuters news agency could not immediately verify, said it showed the Mi-8 helicopter being shot down by a missile. Other images posted by the channel and other military blogging sites show images of the downed plane and debris in the fields. "Most likely, the enemy set up an ambush with air defenses that previously moved into the border zone close enough to attack our group," Voyenniy Osvedomitel said.

The helicopter that crashed appeared to be a Mi-8MTPR-1 electronic warfare aircraft capable of jamming radio signals and enemy targets.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine reported multiple Russian drone attacks and several explosions in the Khmelnytsky region of western Ukraine. Critical infrastructure has been damaged and people have been injured, said the mayor of the regional capital of the same name, Oleksandr Symchyshyn.

Authorities said 11 people were injured. According to reports, the railway facilities were also affected by the Russian attack. According to the Ukrainian military, ISW reported, a total of 18 of 22 Iranian kamikaze drones of the Shahed-131/136 type were shot down in overnight raids.

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