Ukraine Claims to Have Downed a Second A-50 Russian Spy Plane


Ukraine has claimed to have shot down a Russian A-50 military spy plane, the second such incident in just over a month. Ukrainian military sources reported that the plane was destroyed between the Russian cities of Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, over 200km from the front line. Plane fragments were reportedly found in Kanevskoy District by emergency services, who also extinguished a large fire. Russia has yet to comment on the claim.

This incident coincides with the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Mykola Oleshchuk, the head of Ukraine’s Air Force, praised his service and military intelligence for their role in the incident. He also noted that the event coincided with a significant Russian military holiday.

Footage shared online shows the plane apparently being shot down, followed by large flames and thick smoke from the crash site. Some Russian military-aligned sources have suggested that friendly fire may have caused the plane’s downfall.

Ukraine previously claimed to have downed an A-50 on January 14. The UK’s Ministry of Defence has stated that Russia likely has six operational A-50s in service. These planes, which detect air defences and coordinate targets for Russian jets, can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to construct.

Ukraine has found it challenging to make significant progress against Russian forces in the south-east recently. In last month’s incident, an Il-22 control centre plane was also reportedly destroyed alongside the A-50.

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