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Who attacked the Russian aircrafts? Kiev announced the shooting down of two Russian command aircrafts

Sources in the Ukrainian intelligence service confirmed to the Kyiv Post that two Russian control and command aircraft were shot down, but gave no further details.

Kiev confirmed the downing of two Russian command aircraft on a disastrous day for the Kremlin's air force.

The Ukrainians said the two Russian Russian command aircraft were shot down on Sunday afternoon in one of the worst days for Moscow's air force since the start of the large-scale invasion, but they did not say how, while the Russians would neither confirm nor deny.

When did the incident take place and what scenarios were made public

Ukrainian media reported on Sunday evening that an A-50 early warning radar aircraft was shot down on Sunday afternoon shortly after taking off over the Sea of Azov in the Kurulinka region of Zaporizhzhya in southern Ukraine.

Another Russian Ilyushin Il-22 aircraft was also damaged in an attack and was forced to make an emergency landing at Anapa on the Russian side of the Sea of Azov.

Sources in Ukraine's Central Intelligence Directorate (HUR) confirmed that the two aircraft were hit, saying "we confirm the fact" but adding: "We do not comment on the means used."

The Ukrainian intelligence service did not give further details and it is not known which weapons shot down the two aircraft.

According to RBC-Ukraine, the Russian A-50 radar early warning aircraft disappeared from radar and stopped responding to calls, with the pilot of a Russian Su-30 fighter jet confirming that the aircraft was hit.

Just minutes earlier, a Russian Ilyushin Il-22 was damaged with the Ukrainians intercepting an SOS call made by the aircraft's crew, to which it was reported: "Ambulance and fire crew urgently required."

According to open source data, Russia had nine A50 aircraft in service and 30 IL-22Ms.

The loss of two command aircraft in one day would have meant the worst 24 hours for the Russian air force since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As in Sunday's attacks, the weapon system used was not disclosed, but speculation suggested the possible use of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system.

Immediately after reports of the downing of the two Russian aircraft were received, many experts and major media outlets began speculating on what happened.

The question on everyone's mind was how the Ukrainian air defense was able to hit targets far beyond its range.

One theory put forward by Forbes and others was that, because in recent weeks Ukraine has been able to intensify its use of electronic warfare to block Russian air and missile activity, it is possible that the two Russian aircraft were accidentally diverted outside the usual "safe zones".

Another scenario was that a Ukrainian pilot or pilots managed to carry out a "sneaky" air-to-air missile attack before returning to safety over Ukrainian territory.

A third scenario made on a Ukrainian Telegram channel was that the Russian IL-22 had actually been hit by its own air defense assets deployed to protect the Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea to mainland Russia.

One theory that has yet to be expressed, as reports indicated that the A-50 was hit "shortly after takeoff", was that one of Ukraine's special forces or a rebel group had gotten close enough to use a man-portable airborne system (MANPAD) or other weapon to hit it.

Whatever has happened, what we are seeing is the deeper and deeper involvement of the West in the war in Ukraine, in the face of the apparent defeat of the Ukrainians, and this is certainly a very dangerous development.

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