Four Russian military aircraft shot down near Ukraine's border, says report

Two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters were shot down on Saturday close to the Ukrainian border, reported Sky News

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Two Russian fighter jets and two military helicopters were shot down on Saturday close to the Ukrainian border, reported Sky News.

The Su-34 fighter-bomber, Su-35 fighter and two Mi-8 helicopters had made up a raiding party, and had been "shot down almost simultaneously" in an ambush in the Bryansk region, adjoining northeast Ukraine, reported independent Russian news outlet Kommersant.

"According to preliminary data ... the fighters were supposed to deliver a missile and bomb attack on targets in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were there to back them up - among other things to pick up the 'Su' crews if they were shot down," it said.

Videos posted on Russian social media, meanwhile, showed a helicopter apparently being shot down over Russia's Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine.

The state news agency TASS cited an emergency services official as saying preliminary information indicated the engine caught fire before the crash near Klintsy, 40km (25 miles) from the border.

It made no mention of the Su-35, or of a second helicopter.

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However, a video posted on the Russian pro-war Telegram channel Voyenniy Osvedomitel showed a helicopter high in the sky exploding, then plunging earthwards in flames.

There was no official response from Ukraine, which usually declines to comment on reports of attacks inside Russia.

However, in a tweet, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to the Ukrainian president, called the incident "instant karma".

Meanwhile, Ukraine forces are advancing along parts of the front line against Russian troops near the war-torn eastern town of Bakhmut, reported Al Jazeera.

"Our soldiers are moving forward in some areas of the front, and the enemy is losing equipment and manpower," Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, said on social media on Saturday.

Russia acknowledged on Friday its forces had fallen back north of Ukraine's ruined eastern city in a retreat the head of Russia's Wagner private army called a "rout" not a "regrouping".

In its latest bulletin, Russia's defence ministry said its forces gained control over another block in Bakhmut, reported Al Jazeera.

"The units of the Airborne Forces provided support to the assault units and pinned down the enemy on the flanks," it said.

The ministry often uses the term "assault units" to denote the Wagner private militia, which has been spearheading the assault on Bakhmut at great cost in casualties.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 14 2023 | 7:46 AM IST

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