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Moscow confirms A-50 aircraft was shot down by Ukraine

by Rachel Amran June 18, 2024 1:17 AM 2 min read
Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft Beriev A-50U on March 10, 2017. (Sergey Lutsenko/Wikimedia Commons)
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The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation confirmed that the Ukrainian Air Force shot down a rare Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft over the Azov Sea back in February, killing ten crew members.

Ukraine's military intelligence agency, together with the Air Force, shot down the aircraft on February 23, 2024, killing 10 crew members. The agency announced that the downing was  "another serious blow" to Russia's military capabilities.  The Russian Ministry of Defense didn't comment on the information at the time.

The Russian Investigative Committee issued an arrest in absentia on June 17 for the commander of the Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile brigade that destroyed the A-50.

The A-50 provides several critical functions for the ongoing war in Ukraine, such as detecting air defense systems, guided missiles, and coordinating targets for Russian fighter jets. Russia possesses less than ten of these planes. A-50 aircraft have an estimated price tag of around $350 million.

The destruction of the jet is the latest in a recent uptick of downed Russian planes. Earlier this month, Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet in the Pokrovsk sector. The Soviet-designed Su-25, nicknamed "Frogfoot" by NATO, is a heavily armored ground-attack aircraft that provides close air support for Russian ground troops.

Ukraine had previously downed a Russian A-50 over the Azov Sea on Jan. 14. An Il-22 airborne control center was also reportedly damaged beyond repair in the same operation.

Earlier this month, Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet in the Pokrovsk sector. The Soviet-designed Su-25, nicknamed "Frogfoot" by NATO, is a heavily armored ground-attack aircraft that provides close air support for Russian ground troops.

Russia's total losses during the all-out war amount to about 685 aircraft — 359 planes and 326 helicopters, according to Ukraine's General Staff.

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