Ukraine says it has downed second Russian A-50 spy plane in weeks

Ukraine says it has downed second Russian A-50 spy plane in weeks
# 24 February 2024 09:09 (UTC +04:00)

Ukraine says it has downed a Russian A-50 military spy plane - the second such claim in just over a month, APA reports citing BBC.

The plane was hit between the Russian cities of Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, Ukrainian military sources said, over 200km (124 miles) from the front line.

Emergency services reportedly found plane fragments in Kanevskoy district and put out a raging fire.

Russia has not commented on the claim.

The head of Ukraine's Air Force Mykola Oleshchuk thanked his service and military intelligence for helping to bring down the plane - a long-range radar detection aircraft - on Friday and noted the incident coincided with a key Russian military holiday.

"Congratulations to the occupiers on the Defender of the Fatherland Day," he said on Telegram.

Ukraine last claimed to have shot down an A-50 on 14 January.

A previous briefing from the UK's ministry of defence said that Russia probably had six operational A-50s in service.

The plane, which detects air defences and co-ordinates targets for Russian jets, can cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build.

Ukraine has struggled to make significant advances against Russian forces in the south-east recently.

In last month's incident, Ukrainian army officials said an Il-22 control centre plane was destroyed as well as the A-50.