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Thursday April 18, 2024

Ukraine downs second Russian surveillance plane, A-50 'Bayan'

Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk announced, "The A-50 with the call sign 'Bayan' has flown its last!"

By Web Desk
February 24, 2024
A Russian Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft flies over central Moscow in May 2019. — BTA
A Russian Beriev A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraft flies over central Moscow in May 2019. — BTA 

Ukraine's military announced on Friday that it successfully destroyed a Russian A-50 surveillance aircraft for the second time in just over a month. 

Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk shared the news on the Telegram messaging app, declaring, "The A-50 with the call sign 'Bayan' has flown its last!"

The incident took place over Russian territory, precisely between the cities of Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar. 

Military sources, as reported by Interfax Ukraine news agency, revealed that the operation was executed jointly by the air force and the intelligence directorate. 

The Russian authorities remained silent on the issue, with emergency services in the southern Krasnodar region acknowledging the discovery of aircraft fragments in marshland in Kanevskoy district. The agencies reported that firefighters extinguished a blaze on the site.

The shootdown marks the second time Ukraine has claimed victory over the technologically advanced A-50, with the previous incident occurring in the Sea of Azov in January. 

The A-50, a relic from the Soviet era, serves as a large airborne early warning and control aircraft capable of scanning vast distances for potential threats, including enemy aircraft, ships, and missiles.

While the international community awaits Russia's response, Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine's military intelligence directorate, shed light on Russia's fleet, stating that eight A-50s were operational at the time of the previous encounter just a month ago.