‘Russia accidentally downs its own fighter jet over Crimea’ – Times of India

In an incident attributed to a heightened state of combat readiness, a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet was mistakenly downed by Russian forces over Crimea, according to Ukraine. The mishap occurred over the annexed peninsula, with Ukraine’s Navy spokesman, Dmytro Pletenchuk, highlighting on Ukrainian television the role of “the human factor” where an operator, driven by the prospect of receiving a medal, failed to verify the aircraft’s allegiance.
The incident was first reported by Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-appointed leader in Sevastopol, who noted that a Russian warplane “crashed” off the Crimean coast.He confirmed that the pilot had ejected safely and was subsequently rescued. Footage shared on Russian Telegram channels depicted the aircraft ablaze during its descent, accompanied by the pilot’s parachute, a Newsweek report said.
The Crimean Wind Telegram channel suggested that the aircraft was accidentally shot down following its departure from the Belbek military airfield. Pletenchuk’s confirmation on television reinforced the narrative that the aircraft was indeed Russian and was destroyed by friendly fire due to an overzealous operator’s mistake.
This incident adds to a series of aircraft losses for Russia‘s Air Force, which has seen significant setbacks including the loss of over a dozen warplanes, such as Su-34 fighter bombers and Su-35 fighter jets, over the past two months. Meanwhile, Ukraine anticipates an enhancement in its aviation capabilities with the expected arrival of F-16 fighter jets from its allies, which marks a technological advancement from the Soviet-era aircraft currently in use.

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