Reports of Multiple Russian Aircraft Shot Down in Bryansk, Ukraine Gains Advantage

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Reports have emerged suggesting that the Russian air force suffered a significant blow in Bryansk, marking one of its worst days since the Ukraine war began. Unconfirmed accounts indicate that four Russian aircraft, including combat jets and helicopters, were shot down within Russian territory. The incident, if true, would be a major coup for Ukraine and a significant shift in the ongoing conflict.

Conflicting information surrounds the exact number of aircraft brought down in Bryansk, but at least two combat aircraft—an Su-34 and an Su-35—and two Mi-8 helicopters were reported to have crashed. While Ukraine has not confirmed its involvement in the downing of the Russian aircraft, it acknowledges that the planes “ran into some trouble.” The border region of Bryansk has experienced previous attacks attributed to Ukraine.

The occurrence of multiple crashes within Russian territory simultaneously would be unprecedented. Analysts speculate that Ukrainian air defenses may have been pushed forward as a response to the Russian air force’s increased use of long-range “glide munitions” capable of striking targets from a distance. Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat revealed that a Russian strike air group attacked Ukraine from Bryansk Oblast, engaging in daily strikes with guided bombs. He described the incident as a “black day” for Russian aviation.

Videos shared on social media, geolocated by CNN, depict a helicopter crash near the town of Klintsy in Bryansk, close to the Ukrainian border. The Governor of Bryansk, Aleksandr Bogomaz, confirmed the helicopter crash and stated that one civilian had been injured. Another video, geolocated to a village 25 kilometers from Klintsy, shows an aircraft going down, accompanied by a column of black smoke.

While the Russian Defense Ministry has not officially commented on the incident, unofficial sources describe it as the worst day for Russian military aviation since March of the previous year. Russian media outlets, including the newspaper Kommersant, report that a group of helicopters and fighters, including the Su-34 and Su-35, crashed in Bryansk Oblast. It is speculated that the fighters were intended to carry out a missile-bombing strike in Ukraine’s Chernihiv Region, while the helicopters were to provide support. Allegedly, none of the four machines returned to the airfield, and the pilots were killed.

The incident has sparked discussions among Russian sources, with some suggesting that it was a carefully planned Ukrainian operation. Russian military bloggers and Telegram channels have speculated that the Ukrainian air defense forces, positioned in the border zone in advance, ambushed the Russian air group, exploiting their knowledge of the departure route and timing.

The reported presence of advanced jamming equipment on one of the downed helicopters has raised concerns among Russian bloggers. Criticism has been directed at the decision to send such a helicopter in close proximity to Ukrainian defenses, with one Telegram account labeling it “complete idiocy.”

Military analysts surmise that Ukraine may have strategically deployed its air defenses near the border, particularly in regions like Chernihiv, to counter Russia’s increased use of long-range bombs acting as missiles. The incident in Bryansk suggests that Ukraine has expanded its defensive zone into Russian territory.

The reported intelligence possessed by Ukraine regarding the planned Russian mission is also a cause for concern. It indicates a potential shift in the dynamics of the conflict, with Ukraine gaining an advantage not only in the downing of Russian aircraft but also in acquiring detailed knowledge of Russian operations.