Dramatic video appearing to show a flaming Russian Su-27 jet crashing into the Black Sea shot down by own side, Ukraine says

  • Russian Armed Forces appear to have downed their own Su-27 fighter jet over occupied Crimea.

  • A Ukrainian spokesperson said human error was to blame for the Russian blunder.

  • Russia's aviation losses have been growing significantly in 2024.

Russian Armed Forces downed one of their own Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets over Crimea on Thursday, Ukrainian officials claim.

Ukraine's Navy spokesman Dmytro Pletenchuk said on Ukrainian television that "We confirm that this aircraft belonged to the Russian Federation and that it was destroyed by their own forces."

"They were on alert, on combat readiness," he added. "The human factor was at work — one of the operators was eager to get a medal and didn't bother to find out whose plane it was."

The Moscow-installed leader of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, confirmed that a Russian warplane had "crashed" off the Crimean coast without naming the cause and that the pilot had ejected safely and "was picked up by rescue services."

Russian Telegram channels shared purported footage of the fighter jet burning as it fell.

The Crimean Wind Telegram channel, citing sources, claimed the plane was accidentally shot down by Russian forces after taking off from the Belbek military airfield.

Russian propagandist Ilya Tumanov added that the fighter jet appeared to have been hit by anti-aircraft weapons.

The Rybar Telegram channel, managed by a former employee of the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense, noted that the place where the plane crashed was "at a very large distance from the front line" and that this would suggest a technical malfunction as opposed to being downed by air defense.

At the same time, "Rybar" and Russian military correspondent Yuri Kotenok hypothesised that the fighter could have come under "friendly fire" from Russian air defense.

The Russian Ministry of Defense is yet to officially comment on the crash.

Business Insider was unable to independently verify these claims.

Russia's aviation losses are mounting

A massive Ukrainian missile raid last Sunday, which took out two of Russia's large landing ships, also hit Belbek Air Base. According to the Ukrainian Center for Defense Strategies, the missiles took out one Su-27 fighter jet and damaged two others.

Russia's Air Force suffered particularly heavy losses in late February and March, losing more than a dozen warplanes, including Su-34 fighter bombers, Su-35 fighter jets, and two prized A-50 military spy planes.

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