Nine people died as a result of four crashes of military aircraft and helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces in the Bryansk region. According to the Telegram channel Baza, three pilots died in the downed Mi-8 helicopters, one of which crashed in the city of Klintsy, injuring a local resident, and the second in the Unechsky district.
Two pilots died in the crash of a Su-34 fighter-bomber in the village of Nizhnyaya. Another aviator crashed on a Su-35 fighter in the village of Suretsky Ant.
The Kommersant newspaper, citing its own sources, reports that all planes and helicopters could have been shot down near the Ukrainian border.
“They were all part of the same air group – the fighters were supposed to launch a missile and bomb attack on targets on the territory of the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were supposed to insure them, in order to pick up the Su crews if they were shot down by enemy fire,” – stated in the material.
The authorities of the region have so far officially confirmed only the crash of one Mi-8. Video footage of all four crashes has surfaced on social media. The footage shows that a strong fire started at the helicopter crash sites, one Mi-8 fell in a private sector in Klintsy.
This helicopter was, according to one unofficial version, shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to a Kommersant article. The Bryansk police are looking for possible saboteurs, the “Interception” plan has been announced.
According to experts, judging by the video of the rocket approaching the helicopter, it was hit by an air-to-air munition. That is, the Russian air group could fall into an air ambush of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the second version says.
Officially, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has not yet confirmed the fact of the crash of planes and helicopters, which, apparently, has become the largest one-time death of Russian pilots since March last year.
On May 12, a Mi-28 helicopter crashed in the Dzhankoy region of Crimea while performing a planned training flight. Both pilots died, there was no damage on the ground, the Russian Defense Ministry said. According to the official version, the failure of equipment became the cause of the crash.
On February 23, an attack aircraft of the Russian Defense Ministry Su-25 crashed in the Belgorod region. The plane crash occurred about 30 km from the border with the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, on the outskirts of the village. The pilot ejected but did not survive. According to the military department, the aircraft was returning to the airfield after completing a combat mission. The Ministry of Defense also called the preliminary version of the plane crash – a technical malfunction.
On October 9, a Su-24 bomber fell in a deserted area of the Rostov region. The crew managed to survive. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the cause of the crash was also a technical malfunction.
According to the portal Avia.pro, the last time a one-time death of aeronautic vehicles of a comparable scale for the Russian Air Force occurred during the “War of Attrition” between Egypt and Israel, in which Soviet pilots also took part.
On July 30, 1971, in an air battle with the Israeli Air Force, Soviet aviation lost four MiG-21 fighters from the 135th Fighter Aviation Regiment, landing in an air ambush. The code name for this battle is Operation Rimon 20. The Soviet pilots were shot down by Israeli F-4 Phantom and Mirage III fighters.