Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, has officially confirmed the successful downing of two significant Russian military aircraft: an A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an Il-22 air control post. This confirmation comes amidst ongoing reports and speculations regarding the incident.
The source of this information is a statement from Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi himself on Telegram, as well as additional reports from the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Zaluzhnyi expressed his gratitude to the Air Force for their meticulously planned and executed operation in the Azov region, which led to this notable success.
In his statement, Zaluzhnyi quoted, "Soldiers of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed an enemy A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an enemy Il-22 air control post." Accompanying his statement was a video showcasing the two planes disappearing from radar, providing visual confirmation of the event.
The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also echoed these sentiments in their communication, highlighting the success of the special operation in the Azov region and indicating their ongoing commitment to protecting Ukraine's skies. They emphasized, "The special operation in the Azov region was successful. To be continued... The Air Force is on guard of the skies of Ukraine!"
This confirmation follows earlier reports from both Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels on the evening of January 14, which initially reported the downing of the Russian A-50 reconnaissance aircraft and damage to an Il-22M air command post. These reports were partially corroborated on the morning of January 15 by Mykola Oleshchuk, the Commander of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, along with sources within the Ukrainian government.
The downing of these Russian military aircraft marks a significant event in the ongoing conflict, underscoring the capabilities and resolve of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.