The latest evidence seems to back up Belgorod officials' claims that the reported shootdown and crash of a frontline Kremlin Su-27 fighter plane in the region never happened.

The alleged late-morning downing of the Russian fighter jet on Tuesday took place near the town of Valuiki in the Belgorod region. The rural center is some 160-170 kilometers from the villages of Lozovaya Rudka and Graivoronskiy in the region, where pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters attacked Russian border troops overnight.  

Official Russian sources said local defense forces crushed and repelled the anti-Putin cross-border incursion with artillery and air strikes.

Video published by Ukrainian journalist Andriy Tsaplienko showed a massive column of black and gray smoke rising above a forest adjacent to a village that he said was the result of an explosion following the crash of a Su-27 near Valuiki, but he said the information had yet to be verified.


Other Ukrainian information sources suggested that the video appeared to be identical to images posted more than two years previously, in February 2022, of an explosion that occurred in a Ukrainian military base near Kalinivka, Vinnytsia region. Kyiv Post was not able to confirm the authenticity of either video.

Aleksei Dybov, head of the Valuiki city council, published images on his personal Telegram channel saying that the reports of the Su-27 being downed were inaccurate. “The photos [of the shoot-down] were downloaded from the internet and they have nothing to do with our region,” Dybov said. One pro-Kremlin post showed images of the purported shootdown stamped with “FAKE” in large red Russian letters.

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“The latest air raid alert in Kyiv was a UAV threat. Over the past two weeks, this is at least the fifth actual attempt by the enemy to attack the capital using drones,” says Kyiv military official.


Dyubov’s anti-fake Telegram post


Vladislav Gladkov, a senior Belgorod official, told voters Ukrainian forces were trying to undermine Russian civilian morale by feeding them fake news reports of Russian military disasters that didn’t happen.

“A massive wave of lying information. The goal is to frighten the civilian population. But the enemy will not be successful. The governor, the administration, all elements of local government are at work and on the job. We will be able to handle any situation,” said Vladislav Gladkov, governor of the Belgorod region, in a statement to the public published on his personal Nastoyashchiy Gladkov (The Real Gladkov) Telegram channel.


Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian army’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) in comments to the Mi-Ukraiina television news program said: “There are extremely active combat activities in progress there, and there is a great deal going on. We have the information and we are checking it.”

At the same time as the denials of the authenticity were being made in Belgorod, concerning the bringing down of the Su-27, in the Kursk region, they were taking steps to curtail information relating to the reported fighting involving the Freedom of Russia Legion (LSR), the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), and volunteers affiliated with the Siberian Battalion Russian as detailed earlier by Kyiv Post.


The header on the Kursk Regional authority ban on media reporting.



The operational headquarters of the Kursk region announced on its Telegram channel that it was taking additional measures to ensure public safety by prohibiting the dissemination of information by social media relating to military operations.

The statement said that it is now “prohibited to distribute in the media and on any Internet resources photo and video materials about the deployment and redeployment of the Russian Armed Forces, military infrastructure, critical facilities, in order to prevent identification of their location. It is also prohibited to disseminate information about the location of the shelling or use of shelling, the use of weapons or air defense systems and drones, if the specified data allows us to identify the type, location, launch or flight path.

“The decision of the operational headquarters is binding on all citizens located in the Kursk region. Security measures in the region are provided for by presidential decree as part of the “medium level of response.”

It went on to say: “Please note that photos and videos in the accounts of the governor and the Government of the Kursk region are posted only after coordination with special services, if their publication cannot somehow harm security and be used by the enemy.”

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