Was a second Russian fighter jet shot down by friendly fire in a week? Images show smoke rising from destroyed Su-35 after pilot shot out of the sky in Donetsk
- Video showed black smoke coming from what was believed to be a plane crash site
- Another Su-35 was shot down last week by Russia’s S-300 air defense system
Russia may have lost another fighter jet in a friendly fire incident today, after military bloggers reported that an Su-35 fighter jet was shot out of the sky over Donetsk.
A clip circulating on messaging app Telegram shows what is believed to be the wreckage of the stricken plane burning in a field near Mariupol, with a thick trail of black smoke rising from the crash site.
According to unconfirmed reports, the pilot successfully ejected and was in contact with his controllers.
If confirmed, the incident would be the second time in a week that Vladimir Putin’s forces have shot down their own warplane – something Russian pro-war channels strongly criticized as another example of military incompetence.
Suspected crash of Russian Su-35 ‘downed by friendly fire’ near Mariupol in occupied Ukraine
Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets perform a flight during the Aviadarts competition, as part of the International Army Games 2021, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia, August 27, 2021
Last week, a Russian S-300 air defense system downed one of its own planes, killing the pilot
Military informant Telegram said: ‘Another aircraft was lost to friendly air defense fire.
“Thank God the pilot survived this time.”
The level of communications with Russian aircraft and air defenses was “at an all-time low,” the channel complained.
Another channel, Flightbomber, said: ‘At this rate of our brave air defense we will soon run out of planes.’
It is believed to be the fifth time a Russian military aircraft was shot down by friendly fire during the war.
On September 29, an £82 million Su-35 was shot down by a Russian S-300 air defense system over Tokmak in the Zaporizhia region.
The pilot was reportedly killed in that incident.
The Su-35 is a super-maneuverable, versatile fighter jet that is highly capable in dogfights with other enemy aircraft and can destroy targets on the ground and at sea
Russian aviation Z blogger Fighterbomber published a photo of a Su-35 with the message: “Eternal flight, brother.”
Ukrainian Telegram channel Crimean Wind also seemed to confirm this with a cheering post stating: ‘Russian air defense vs. Russian Su-35 1:0.
‘Russian soldiers used an S-300 missile to shoot down their own plane near Tokmak.
‘Work, brothers! Do not stop!’
Russia has lost around 90 aircraft since the start of the war against Ukraine, according to an assessment by the British Ministry of Defense ahead of the latest incident.
The “viability” of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) tactical air force is likely to decline as the war continues, the Defense Ministry said.
“The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) have lost approximately 90 fixed-wing aircraft in combat since February 2022,” the assessment said.
‘The country has also flown some of its types of fighter aircraft much more intensively than in peacetime.’