Russia could have shot down its own plane because of Ukraine's strikes on Crimea – British intelligence

Russian Su-27. Source: rosmedia

On March 28, Russian air defense system shot down its own Su-27 military aircraft over the temporarily occupied Crimea. This happened when the occupiers' air defense on the peninsula was put on high alert.

Officially, the invaders claimed a "technical malfunction" that led to the downing of the aircraft, but it is much more likely that the downing was due to the fear and tension experienced by the Russian occupiers in anticipation of further attacks by the Ukrainian Defense Forces. This is stated in a new report by the UK Ministry of Defense based on British intelligence.

After Ukraine's repeated accurate and effective strikes on Sevastopol and the occupiers' military facilities in other Crimean settlements, Russian air defense was put on high alert. And it did not take long to see results. In recent months, there have been reports of Russian air defense shooting down its own aircraft over the occupied peninsula. British intelligence believes this gives some idea of the morale of the invaders in Crimea.

The last known case of "friendly fire" by Russian air defense against its aircraft, the British Defense Ministry reminded, was recorded on March 28: when the Russians shot down their Su-27 over Crimea.

The official statement on the matter was made by the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, who said that there was a technical malfunction and that the pilot survived. However, British intelligence questioned the technical factor.

"There is a real possibility that it is not so much a technical problem as increased pressure and tension among Russian air defense operators caused by fear of further Ukrainian action that is causing them to inadvertently engage their pilots and aircraft," the report said.

The British defense ministry also emphasized that this is not the first report of Russians shooting down their own aircraft. However, it was not possible to obtain 100% confirmation. All that is known for certain is that reports of such incidents have been made after periods of activity by Ukrainian forces against the Russian military in the occupied territory of Crimea.

"This incident and others, if confirmed, are likely to highlight a lack of awareness and coordination between elements of the Russian armed forces, while demonstrating the secondary impact of Ukraine's actions," the British Ministry of Defense emphasized.

Earlier, British intelligence described how Russia is trying to protect its aircraft from strikes. To this end, the Russians, for example, continue to draw silhouettes of fighter jets at airfields.

However, Russian pilots immediately disavow all the tricks of their colleagues: Russian helicopters still regularly land on the painted silhouettes of fighters, thwarting attempts to deceive them. This also reveals the real combat order and number of aircraft at these air bases.

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