LATEST UPDATE 24 JULY 07:22 UTC (09:02 Kyiv local time) | Again the Ukrainian Air Force lost two fast jet aircraft to anti-aircraft missiles while providing close air support to ground units in the east of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence confirmed. According to a Ukrainian MoD press release Both Su-25s were shot down on 23 July near the village of Dmytrivka, pro-Russian separatists have told Russian Interfax one of the planes has come down near the village of Snizhne, less than 10 miles (16 km) to the northwest. Ukrainian sources says all pilots ejected.
Both downings were confirmed by Kiev (Kyiv) around 13:00 UTC (15:00 Kyiv local time). According to the Ukrainian MoD the pilots of both Frogfoots – as the NATO-reporting name for the type goes – tried to evade the incoming missiles with jinking the aircraft and releasing flares. Despite the violent evasive manoeuvres and the countermeasures meant as decoy for heat-seeking missiles both aircraft were damaged unrecoverable in mid-flight. Although the Ukrainian MoD has confirmed the pilots ejected, their whereabouts are currently unknown. There is also no information if the Frogfoots deployed were single- or double-seaters, although single-seat aircraft are most likely.
Apparently the Sukhois were supporting stormtroopers advancing on pro-Russian separatist positions in or near Dmytrivka. According to the initial reports the area where the jets were shot is only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the border with Russia, 52 miles (84 km) southeast of the regional capital of Donetsk or roughly 20 miles (33 km) from where the remains of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 hit the ground after shot out of the sky by a Russian-supplied advanced surface-to-air missile.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has said later it believes the Sukhois were hit by missiles fired from Russia, but that is unconfirmed. According to Kiev the planes flew at about 15,000 to 16,000 feet. That does put them within range of shoulder-launched SAMS (MANPADS), as well as the by now notorious Buk/SA-11 that killed 298 people on board the Malaysia Boeing 777-200 airliner.
© 2014 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
OVERVIEW OF AIRCRAFT LOSSES BY HOSTILE FIRE, ARMED FORCES OF UKRAINE
(compiled by Airheadsfly.com based on official sources)
- 2014.??.??: 2 Su-25s, 2 Mi-24s and 1 Mi-8 in separate incidents
- 2014.08.29: Su-25, over Donbas, likely SAM
- 2014.08.17: MiG-29, over Luhansk, likely SAM
- 2014.08.07: Mi-8, eastern Ukraine, weapon unknown
- 2014.08.07: MiG-29, near Zhdanivka (Donetsk region), by SAM
- 2014.07.23: 2 Su-25, Ukrainian Air Force, near Dmytrivka (Donetsk region), by SAM while providing CAS
- 2014.07.16: SU-25, Ukrainian Air Force, near Amvrosiyivka / Russian border, hit in tailsection. Second Su-25 hit as well, made successful emergency landing.
- 2014.07.14: AN-26, Ukrainian Air Force, near Izvaryne, by SAM
- 2014.06.24: Mi-8, near Slovyansk, by MANPADS or AA / heavy-calibre gun
- 2014.06.14: IL-76, Ukrainian Air Force, upon landing at Luhansk Airport, by anti-aircraft fire
- 2014.06.06: AN-30B, Ukrainian Air Force, near Slovyansk, by MANPADS
- 2014.05.29: Mi-8, Ukrainian Army Guard, near Slovyansk, by MANPADS
- 2014.05.05: Mi-24, Ukrainian Army Avation, near Slovyansk, by heavy-machine gun fire
- 2014.05.02: 2 Mi-24s, Ukrainian Army Aviation, near Slovyanks, by MANPADS
- 2014.04.25: Mi-8, Ukrainain Army Aviation, at Kramatorsk Airbase, by (rocket-propelled?) grenade