The footage appears to show a helicopter being shot down in Russia, amid claims that multiple military aircraft have been shot down in Bryansk, in what would mark a humiliating blow to Moscow.
Five houses were damaged and a civilian was hospitalized as a result of the helicopter crash, the governor of Russia’s Bryansk region, which borders northeastern Ukraine, said after social media footage showed a plane bursting into flames and plummeting on Saturday.
Shortly thereafter, Russia’s state-backed Tass news agency reported that an Su-34 fighter-bomber had also crashed in Bryansk, citing an emergency services source.
While the fate of those on board was unknown, Tass reported that two crew members had been killed in the earlier crash near Klintsy, about 30 miles from the Ukrainian border, and identified the helicopter as an Mi-8. .
Doubling Russia’s potential losses once again, Kommersant – a major Russian newspaper owned by Vladimir Putin’s ally Alisher Usmanov – later reported that a second Mi-8 helicopter and an Su-35 fighter jet had also been shot down “almost simultaneously” in Bryansk along with the first two jets.
All the planes were part of the same air strike group tasked with bombing targets in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, and the pilots of all four vehicles were killed, the newspaper said.
While Russian regional authorities confirmed only the first helicopter crash, with the fate of the other plane impossible to verify, similar claims also circulated on pro-Russian Telegram channels, along with footage purporting to show the downing of the Su-34 fighter-bomber.
Russia has hundreds of Mi-8 helicopters in its arsenal, which are used for a wide range of military and civilian purposes.
However, the popular pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Informant was among several bloggers and analysts who claimed that the helicopters may have been the recently deployed Mi-8 MTPR-1 models in Russia, which are equipped with technology intended to jam missile systems. and Ukrainian air defense.
Moscow is reported to have only around 20 of the helicopters, and their possible involvement sparked speculation among pro-Russian and Western analysts that they may have intended to provide cover for the two fighter jets during their raid on Ukraine.
While the fate of the aircraft remains unclear, there was speculation that they may have been shot down in error by Russian air defenses or by Ukraine.
Such losses would amount to the “worst day for Russian military aviation since the first week of the war, when Moscow assumed it had destroyed Ukrainian air defences,” he suggested. Wall Street Journal correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov.
As is typical, Ukraine did not officially respond to the reports, but presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted: “An air group of two SU fighter jets (34 and 35) and two support helicopters flew over the Bryansk region to launch a ‘missile’. -bomb”. attack” (officially) against the civilian population of the Chernihiv region in Ukraine.
The air group was destroyed by ‘unidentified persons’. Justice, such as it is, and instant karma… The ‘winged killers’ were destroyed BEFORE the next crime was committed…”
On the front lines of the war, the British Defense Ministry claimed that Russian forces had withdrawn “in disrepair” from their positions on Bakhmut’s southern flank over the past four days.