• On 28 March 2024, a Crimean Telegram channel reported that an SU-27 aircraft operating over Crimea had been shot down by Russian air defence in an incident of friendly fire. The Russian-installed Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razozhaev, stated that there was a technical failure and that the pilot survived.
  • Ukraine had conducted strikes against targets in Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet on 24 March 2024. This almost certainly led to local Russian air defence being at a heightened readiness. There have been previous unconfirmed reports of similar instances of friendly fire occurring, usually following periods of Ukrainian action against Russian forces in the illegally occupied territory. There is a realistic possibility that rather than a technical issue, the increased pressure and tension amongst Russian air defence operators induced by the fear of further Ukrainian action leads to them inadvertently engaging their own pilots and aircraft.
  • This event, and others if confirmed, likely highlights the lack of situational awareness and coordination between elements of the Russian armed forces, while further demonstrating the second-order impact of Ukrainian actions.
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