Pilot pulled the Su-30’s nose but was unable to prevent the fall

Internet sources have showcased footage of a fighter jet, presumably in the vicinity of Avdiivka, being reduced to a flaming wreckage in mid-flight. Preliminary analysis suggests the mechanical casualty to be a contemporary combat aircraft of Russian origin. 

The visual evidence reveals an airborne craft aflame, spiraling downwards from a great height. On closer inspection, it is noticeable that the aircraft shares unmistakable traits with members of the Su-27 lineage. The camouflage hues applied to the exterior are distinctive to the Su-27, Su-30, and the recently developed Su-35– favorite operators within the Russian airspace. 

At a certain juncture in the video, the pilot appears to have succeeded in stabilizing the aircraft’s plummet by directing the nose upward, thus marginally slowing its descent. The successful ejection of the crew is verified by the sight of two parachutes, which leads to the conclusion that the Su-30SM, having the capacity to hold two seats, was the probable victim. This inference is further strengthened by the non-existence of a dual-seater variant for the Su-35. 

10+ Russian Su-30s began tactical rehearsals over Kaliningrad - Su-30
Photo credit: Irkut Press Office

Considering the diminished numbers of Su-27s in the Russian aviation fleet, it would defy rationale to enlist a secondary seat version of the same for a sortie over Avdiivka. The absence of the characteristic Ukrainian color scheme on the craft confirms this assumption. 

Reports from Ukraine have alleged that they have successfully downed five Su-25 aircraft belonging to Russia during the offensive in the Avdiivka region. While this assertion awaits verification, it is undeniable that the Russians have committed substantial resources in this zone, revealing their determination to secure a victory, irrespective of the cost. This makes the possibility of Ukrainian claims valid. 

The obliteration of the versatile Su-30, a first in over a year, lends further credibility to this likely scenario. Russian losses thus far include an estimated eleven aircraft of this model, inclusive of two that were eliminated on the ground. Additionally, two mishaps unrelated to hostilities have also resulted in losses. 

The latest air-craft reduction would escalate the tally to a total of 14 lost in the ongoing conflict, of which 12 resulted from Ukrainian military operations. 

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On the 21st of February, 2022, allegations emerged from Russia, asserting that a border facility under the jurisdiction of their Federal Security Service [FSB] had been decimated due to an aggressive shelling operation purportedly executed by Ukrainian forces. According to the Russian authorities, this unexpected and violent incursion resulted in the unfortunate demise of five Ukrainian combatants.

Ukraine, however, vehemently repudiated involvement in both occurrences, categorizing them as nothing more than deceptive maneuvers, or ‘false flags’.

In a significant development on the very day, the Russian government extended formal recognition to the self-proclaimed entities of DPR and LPR. This recognition, as per Putin, was not confined merely to the territories under their de-facto control, but encompassed the entire Ukrainian Oblasts. In an ensuing move, Putin commanded the mobilization of Russian military forces, inclusive of tanks, into the said regions.

Aggressive invasion

In a significant geopolitical development on the 24th of February, 2022, President Vladimir Putin of Russia commanded an aggressive military invasion into Ukraine. This act of aggression was executed by Russia’s formidable Armed Forces, which had been strategically amassed along the Ukrainian border in a show of ominous intent. 

This invasion was not a random act of violence, but a meticulously planned operation, characterized by precise airstrikes that targeted key military infrastructures within the Ukrainian territory. Concurrently, an armored division of tanks rolled in from the Belarusian frontier, further intensifying the scale and impact of the offensive.

The Russian administration thus far has refrained from acknowledging the ongoing incursion into Ukraine as a “war”. This, despite the fact that the unfolding events bear all the hallmarks of a military conflict. Instead, the Kremlin insists on terming it a “special military operation”.


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