Ukrainian Forces Shoot Down Second Russian A-50 Aircraft: Friendly Fire Incident Reported
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

February 23, 2024

In a significant development over the Sea of Azov, reports from Russian media on February 23 suggest that another Russian A-50 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) aircraft has been shot down. Ukrainian Air Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Mykola Oleshchuk, later confirmed that the Ukrainian military was responsible for the destruction of the Russian A-50 plane.

The incident was initially reported by Russian military media observers around 7:15 p.m. According to these reports, the aircraft fell victim to a friendly fire incident, where anti-air systems allegedly “mistakenly” targeted the A-50 from the occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast.

Local Russian social media accounts are claiming that the aircraft crashed in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai, near the village of Trudovaya Armeniya. Witnesses in the area reported hearing explosions after the crash.

This marks the second Russian A-50 that Ukrainian forces have successfully destroyed in the early months of 2024. On January 14, another A-50 aircraft was downed in the same region over the Sea of Azov. In that operation, an Il-22 airborne command post plane was also damaged but managed to land at a Russian airfield. The Ukrainian military, at that time, declared the Il-22 “beyond repair.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on February 22, announced that Ukrainian forces had shot down seven Russian military aircraft over the past week, emphasizing the intensified efforts to resist Russian military operations in the region.

The incident underscores the heightened tensions and ongoing conflict in the Sea of Azov area, with both sides actively engaging in military operations. The occurrence of friendly fire incidents adds a layer of complexity to the already volatile situation, raising concerns about coordination and communication among the forces involved in the conflict. The international community continues to closely monitor the evolving situation in the region, with implications for broader geopolitical dynamics.

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