Ukraine Takes Out Two Major Russian Aircraft

( – Ukrainian officials excitedly reported the takedown of two significant Russian aircraft on January 14. The first was an A-50 radar-detection plane, of which Russia reportedly has eight. It is valued at over £260 million and is critical for covering the large borders of the country. There is no photo evidence of the plane’s destruction, but it reportedly disappeared shortly after beginning its patrol over Kyrylivka. The Russian Defense Ministry has described the A-50 as a plane that can identify and track objects in the air and touted its ability to provide early warnings.

The second was an IL-22 command plane, which reportedly sustained severe damage and landed in the Russian city of Anapa. According to the Ukrainian press, the IL-22 was recently remodeled and refitted to the tune of £3 million. Valery Zaluzhny, who serves as Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, shared a photo of the tail of the IL-22. The photo proved that it had successfully landed, but Zaluhny did not share images of the front portion of the plane.

Ukrainian officials reported that the planes were shot down over the Sea of Azov, a waterway between the two countries that Russia has controlled since its 2014 annexation of Crimea. Zaluhny shared a video of the A-50 descending, but it was unclear when it was recorded. The IL-22 was suspected to have a senior war commander on board, and Ukrainian media reported that there were multiple casualties. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media to take its inquiries to the defense ministry, claiming that he had no information.

Much of the information available was communicated over Telegram, a messaging app that is widely used by the Ukrainian military and people reporting information from the ground. NBC News also reported the incident but admitted that it could not obtain enough information to verify if the planes were shot down. The outlet said that if the reports were accurate, it would be one of the country’s “biggest successes” against Russia’s air capabilities thus far.

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