Russia may have lost up to four aircraft in one attack on Saturday in what would be an extraordinary coup for Ukraine if confirmed.

What happened?

That depends on who you ask. One Russian official said one helicopter crashed on Saturday in a southern Russian region bordering Ukraine.

In a terse statement on messaging app Telegram, Alexander Bogomaz, the governor of the Bryansk region in southern Russia, said a helicopter crashed in the town of Klintsy.

He did not say what happened to the crew but added that a woman suffered injuries and was hospitalised. "Five houses have been damaged," he said, without elaborating on the reason behind the crash.

But in a conflicting statement, Vladimir Rogov, a Moscow-installed official in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, said that four Russian aircraft had been shot out of the sky: two MI-8 helicopters, an SU-35 fighter jet and an SU-34 fighter bomber. 

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He said that the crew of the helicopters and the SU-34 had died.

So who is right?

The Russian newspaper Kommersant said the latter account of four aircraft shot down was correct, adding that the Su-34 fighter-bomber, Su-35 fighter and two Mi-8 helicopters had made up a raiding party that had been "shot down almost simultaneously" in an ambush in the Bryansk region.

"According to preliminary data ... the fighters were supposed to deliver a missile and bomb attack on targets in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine, and the helicopters were there to back them up - among other things to pick up the 'Su' crews if they were shot down," the report added.

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According to the partisans, the Russians have placed paramilitary guards at oil depots and installed closed-circuit television cameras.

What has Ukraine said?

While not confirming exactly what happened, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on social media: "Russians are very upset today.

“We can understand them: minus two fighter jets and minus two helicopters."

And in a post on Twitter, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Zelensky, called the incident “Justice ... and instant karma.”

Has the Kremlin said anything? 

There has been no immediate comment from the Russian defence ministry.

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Is there any further evidence of what happened?

As can be seen in the footage above that was posted to Twitter, several videos on social media appear to confirm Russia’s losses.

While it’s not clear what was used in the attacks, Western allies have delivered increasingly powerful weapons to Ukraine, and Britain this week announced it would send Storm Shadow missiles, becoming the first country to send longer-range arms to Kyiv.

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Comments (2)

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Gerrymandering
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Good job !

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Ted Cruz
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Something had to be done about this group of fiends dropping 1500kg bombs on civilians. Whatever happened to these aircraft, I hope it continues

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