The Su-34 and Su-35 are among the most modern fixed-wing aircraft available to Russia, and the Mi-8MTPR-1 is a rather expensive type of helicopter prepared for electronic warfare, so it is understandable that everyone was very interested in how five such expensive weapons could fall in the course of a single day, moreover, in Russian airspace, in the Bryansk region.
Four popular theories also emerged shortly after the incident:
- According to the Ukrainians the Russian air defense mistakenly identified the planesso they became victims of friendly fire (there have been examples of this before.
- According to some of the Russian milbloggers the Ukrainians delivered a Patriot air defense system near the borderwhich shot down the planes.
- Russian state media reported that Ukrainian saboteurs invaded the countryand shot down the five planes with shoulder-launched rockets.
- And some even claim that Kiev secretly received some AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range air-to-air missiles from the USwith which the Ukrainian fighters took down the Russian planes.
THE On Telegram based on a recently published photo, it is very likely that the Russian milbloggers were right, because among the stickers on the side of the Patriot missile system shown in the video, which represent the downed enemy weapons, you can actually find three Mi-8 helicopters, one Su-34 (top row in the middle) and one Su-35 (above the soldier’s fist on the left ) silhouettemoreover, Moscow has so far lost relatively few of the two fixed-wing aircraft: 20 copies of the 34 and three of the 35.
Of course, it cannot be ruled out that the Ukrainian air defenses are just “talking big” with the stickers, but at the same time, the coincidence between the stickers depicting the destroyed machines and the losses actually suffered by Moscow is striking.
The cover image is an illustration, showing a Russian Su-35. Source: Getty Images