Apocalyptic scenes were on display in Russia’s Bryansk region Saturday as four military aircraft were apparently blown out of the sky near the border, killing nearly a dozen service members.
Officially, authorities blamed the Mi-8 helicopter crash on a mysterious engine fire, but video shared on social media by local residents appeared to show a missile hit the chopper just before it exploded.
Around the same time the chopper crashed, an Su-34 fighter jet also came crashing down from the sky engulfed in flames. Residents in the town of Klintsy could be seen gathering around to gaze in horror at the fiery wreckage of the jet in a nearby wooded area.
Separately, Russian media reported that ANOTHER Mi-8 helicopter and an Su-35 jet had been shot down in the region.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported that all crew members aboard all four aircraft were killed. Russian authorities, meanwhile, remained mum on the simultaneous catastrophes, confirming only the crash of a single chopper.
According to Kommersant, all four aircraft had been tasked with carrying out strikes on Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, with the choppers assigned to back up the fighter jets.
But they were apparently shot down instead. According to Baza, at least 9 Russian service members are dead.
Authorities in the region are now said to be frantically searching for Ukrainian “saboteurs” who shot down the aircraft, though some questioned if Russia may have actually shot down its own planes in its paranoia over Ukraine obtaining new long-range cruise missiles.
Pro-war Russian military bloggers are now demanding revenge over what they described as an “ambush” on Russia’s air force by Ukrainian forces.
“Our aviation has not suffered such losses as today since March of last year,” one pro-Kremlin Telegram channel complained.
“We will avenge everyone, we will kill everyone,” another pro-war channel said.