Downed Russian jets ‘almost all’ taken out by Kremlin’s own air defence

Ukraine soldier Russia invasion army Europe war Donetsk - Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images
Ukraine soldier Russia invasion army Europe war Donetsk – Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Russian jets shot from the sky were “almost all” downed by Moscow’s own air defence systems, pro-Kremlin military bloggers have claimed.

A failure by Moscow’s forces in Ukraine to interact with other branches of the military led to a number of “friendly fire” incidents that brought down Su-30M, Su-34 and Su-35S fighter aircraft, as well as Ka-52 helicopters.

It was said that the Russian air force’s main enemy had become its own air defence systems.

The claims were made by authoritative pro-Russian military bloggers via their channels on the Telegram messaging app.

Rybar, a widely read but unofficial Russian propaganda account, reported: “Insufficient levels of interaction with other branches and types of troops, along with an inoperative identification system, has more than once led to ‘friendly fire’ to the point that almost all Su-34, Su-35S and Su-30M aircraft lost since spring, as well as part of the Ka-52 helicopters, are ‘on account’ of Russian air defence.”

FighterBomber, another authoritative Russian channel, added: “I’m also not happy with the fact that our valiant air defence is the worst and most dangerous enemy for all of our aviation. The fact that almost all of our planes were shot down by it is completely nonsense.”

Russian air force Su-34 aircraft
Russian air force Su-34 aircraft

The claims could not be immediately verified.

However, Oryx, a website that visually tracks losses on both sides, has documented the loss of 63 Russian aircraft and 63 helicopters.

According to the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces, Moscow has lost 268 helicopters and 283 warplanes since the beginning of the war earlier this year.

Last week, Ukraine’s Air Force shared images of a Russian Ka-52 helicopter allegedly shot down by friendly fire.

Russian propagandists said that the aircraft was downed in early December by a Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile system.

The images appeared to show the alligator attack helicopter, with a tail number 43, downed in a field in the Zaporizhzhia region.

“[Russian] air defence is like that,” said the Centre for Strategic Communications of the armed forces of Ukraine.

“In the meantime, we invite the entire [Russian] crew of anti-aircraft gunners [responsible for the incident] to a gala dinner in their honour.”

Ukraine’s armed forces have issued a number of statements since Feb 24 claiming that Russia had shot down its own aircraft in friendly fire incidents.

A recent report by academics at the Royal United Services Institute found that friendly fire has been one of the biggest problems undermining Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Through a perceived lack of communication, Russian artillery was said to have targeted its own troops, while air defences engaged with friendly aircraft.

“Fratricide has been a widespread problem for the Russian forces during their invasion of Ukraine,” the report said.

It blamed the rigidity of Moscow’s top-down command structure for Russia’s repeated failings on the battlefield.

Published by anthonyhayble

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