Moscow suffers blow as Ukraine downs two Russian command aircraft in one night

While operating over the waters of the Sea of Azov at approximately 2110hrs (local time) on the night of January 14, two high-value aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces (RuAF) were struck by Ukrainian missiles, with one crashing and the other being forced to make an emergency landing.

Official Ukrainian sources were quick to report that this was the handiwork of the Ukrainian Air Force (UkrAF), without disclosing any further details. This does not come as a surprise, as the UkrAF operates long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems – of which, the US-built Patriot is the most advanced. It is believed that the UkrAF deployed Patriot systems to extremely forward operating locations on a number of occasions last year, yielding similar spectacular results, and this might yet be another such case.

Ukraine reportedly shot down a RuAF-operated A-50 Mainstay AEW&C aircraft over the Sea of Azov on January 14, with the aircraft said to have crashed into the Sea of Azov after it was struck.
Ukraine reportedly shot down a RuAF-operated A-50 Mainstay AEW&C aircraft over the Sea of Azov on January 14, with the aircraft said to have crashed into the Sea of Azov after it was struck. Russian MOD

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD) remained silent on this matter, but Russian social media channels confirmed both of the aircraft losses on January 14 – giving preference to the possibility that this was yet another case of ‘friendly fire.’

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