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They try to justify the loss by "human factors": ISW explained why Russians spread fakes about downed IL-22 and A-50

Russia spreads fakes about shooting down A-50 by "friendly fire" of its own air defense system

On January 14, the Air Force of Ukraine shot down a Russian A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and seriously damaged an IL-22 air control center of the Russian Armed Forces. However, Russia is massively spreading fakes that the damage was caused not by Ukrainians but by Russian air defense.

The fake about the "human factor" as the key reason for the loss of the aircraft is needed by Russia to convince its pilots that flights over the Black and Azov Seas are still safe for them. This is stated in a new analytical report by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Russia has begun to actively deny that it was Ukrainian troops who destroyed the Russian A-50 and severely damaged the IL-22. Instead, Russian propagandists launched a fake that these losses were the result of "friendly fire" by Russian air defense.

ISW emphasizes that such statements are humiliating for the Russian army as a whole.

"The A-50 is used to coordinate Russian aviation and possibly air defense, and the claim that Russian air defense shot down the A-50 would represent a catastrophic failure on the part of the Russian military, if true. A Russian source that focuses on Russian aviation blamed the incident on Russian commanders who lacked the experience required for their positions," the article says.

At the same time, analysts emphasized that such accusations look strange, to say the least. After all, the commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Colonel General Viktor Afzalov, "has extensive experience in Russian air defense operations. Therefore, even if he had never flown a military aircraft himself, his experience, ISW believes, should have been enough to ensure that Russian forces did not shoot down their own command and control aircraft.

Nevertheless, the aggressor state deliberately undermined the reputation of the Russian army.

According to an unnamed employee of one of the Russian special services, ISW writes, the fake about the downing of the A-50 by Russian troops was launched deliberately to convince Russian pilots that it is still safe for them to fly over the Black and Azov Seas. After all, they say, the plane was destroyed as a result of a "human error."

"It is unclear why Russian pilots should feel better about the idea that their ground-based air defense systems are so incompetent," the analysts added.

They also noted that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had no information about the downed plane and recommended that journalists check with the Russian Defense Ministry for more information. Instead, the ministry, headed by Sergei Shoigu, has remained silent about the heavy losses of Russian military aviation.

As a reminder, on January 15, Ukraine confirmed that the Defense Forces had destroyed a Russian A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and seriously damaged an IL-22 commando aircraft on the night of January 14.

This statement was made by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, who published flight records showing that Ukrainian troops had struck the A-50 and IL-22 over the Sea of Azov.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat also confirmed the downing of two targets. According to him, the first target was an A-50. The IL-22 that followed it managed to reach the airport in Anapa. Ihnat added that it is highly likely that the aircraft is beyond repair and that there are dead and wounded among the crew.

They try to justify the loss by ''human factors'': ISW explained why Russians spread fakes about downed IL-22 and A-50

According to Natalia Humeniuk, head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces, the destroyed A-50 was used to aim Russian missile strikes against Ukraine. Its destruction will at least delay new attacks.

According to the South Command, Russia had three serviceable A-50s out of six. The Defense Intelligence of Ukraine says that Russia has eight.

According to military observer Kostiantyn Mashovets, Russia began to constantly use A-50s because of the threat of Ukrainian strikes on the Russian Black Sea Fleet and Russian military infrastructure in the temporarily occupied Crimea

Valerii Romanenko, a leading researcher at the Ukrainian State Aviation Museum of the National Aviation University, is convinced that the loss of both the A-50 and its crew is "very painful" for Russia. After all, crew members for such aircraft have been trained for several years.

Only verified information is available on our Telegram OBOZ.UA and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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