July 14, 2024

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"black saturday" in the Bryansk region – what is known about the mass crashes

On Saturday morning, incidents with Russian military aircraft occurred in the Bryansk region: the media report the crash of Su-34 and Su-35 fighters, and two Mi-8 helicopters.

The authorities of the region confirmed the crash of the Mi-8 helicopter in the city of Klintsy and the death of the crew, and emergency services informed the TASS agency about the crash of the Su-34 fighter. The fall of another helicopter and the Su-35 has not yet been officially confirmed, writes Air Force. The governor of the Bryansk region Alexander Bogomaz said yesterday:

“Today, a helicopter crashed in Klintsy. As a result of the incident, there is one victim among civilians – a woman. She has now been taken to the district hospital, she is receiving all the necessary medical care. Five households have been damaged.”

Numerous videos of eyewitnesses of the disaster have been posted on social networks. They show how the helicopter explodes in the air and falls vertically down, engulfed in flames.

About the second incident, the interlocutor TASS agencies reported without details:

“The Su-34 crashed near the Ukrainian border. The fate of those on board is being determined.”

The exact location of the incident is not named, however, based on the video and photo of the disaster, telegram channels write about the Starodubsky district of the Bryansk region.

Russian telegram channels also report the crash of another Mi-8 helicopter in the Unechsky district of the Bryansk region, near the village of Volkustichi, and the crash of a Su-35 fighter, which also occurred in the Starodubsky district, near the village of Shkryabino. Data on the fall of four aircraft in the Bryansk region at once appear only in the press and telegram channels, they are not confirmed (except for two) by official sources, the Air Force writes. And that’s what tells The Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, referring to its sources:

“An air group of two Mi-8 helicopters and Su-34 and Su-35 fighters crashed in the Bryansk region. As it became known to Kommersant, in the Bryansk region, a Su-34 fighter-bomber, a fighter Su-35, as well as on the outskirts of the city of Klintsy, two Mi-8 helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces. Their crews were killed. They are looking for the attackers on the ground and in the air. The regional authorities confirmed the crash of only one helicopter.

According to preliminary data, they were all part of the same air group – the fighters were supposed to launch a missile and bomb attack on targets in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were to secure them, in order, among other things, to pick up the Su crews if they were shot down by enemy fire. All four aircraft did not return to the airfield. Their pilots are dead.

According to videos posted on social networks by local residents, it can be concluded that at least one Mi-8 that crashed on the outskirts of the city of Klintsy was shot down by a rocket. It was assumed that the launches were carried out from the ground, so the Bryansk police were alerted, announcing the “Interception” plan to search for possible saboteurs.

Experts also suggested that, judging by the approach of the missile to the helicopter, the attack was most likely carried out by air-to-air weapons, that is, from enemy aircraft or helicopters. Thus, the VKS air group most likely fell into an air ambush.”

Earlier, various versions about the causes of air crashes were put forward in telegram channels and social networks. Among other things, the possibility was discussed that the aircraft were mistakenly shot down by Russian air defense, destroyed by a Ukrainian sabotage group from a portable anti-aircraft missile system, or by a Ukrainian air defense system from the territory of Ukraine.

Today Speaker of the Ukrainian Air Force Yuriy Ignat informedthat on May 13 in the Bryansk region three helicopters were shot down by air defense forces, and not two, as previously reported. According to him, they were shot down by Russian air defense, and the total number of air equipment lost by the Russians is five units. He clarified that this aircraft flew out on a combat mission to the front, writes “Strana”.

The head of the Russian PMC “Wagner” Yevgeny Prigozhin also hints that Russian planes and helicopters in the Bryansk region were shot down by Russian air defense. He said that all four objects fell in a circle with a radius of about 20 kilometers and suggested that they think about what kind of air defense system could be in the center of this circle.

On Saturday, May 13, various data began to appear at the same time about the fall of one helicopter, then two, then an airplane. At first, the Russian media said that the helicopter fell due to an engine fire, silent about its shooting down and explosion before the fire. Then they admitted the downing of two helicopters and one aircraft, traditionally blaming “Ukrainian saboteurs” for this.

At the same time, it is worth noting that officially the Russian authorities have not commented on this incident for a day. The state media also report very sparingly about it, which would hardly have happened if Russian aviation had been attacked by Ukrainian forces. Therefore, theoretically, it really cannot be ruled out that there was a mistake by the Russian air defense. But it was decided not to recognize it (at least for now).

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