NewsUkrainian colonel charged in absentia for destroying Russian plane

Ukrainian colonel charged in absentia for destroying Russian plane

A-50U aircraft - illustrative photo
A-50U aircraft - illustrative photo
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons |

6:57 AM EDT, June 18, 2024

The court in Moscow has arrested a Ukrainian colonel in absentia in connection with the destruction of an A-50 aircraft. Military correspondents report that the aircraft may have been shot down by Russian air defence.

As the independent portal Meduza states, the District Court in Moscow has arrested in absentia the commander of the 138th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Nikolai Dziaman, in connection with the attack which resulted in fatalities (clause "b" part 3 of Article 205 of the Criminal Code).

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, the Russian authorities have placed the Ukrainian military officer on the federal wanted list.

Investigators say Dziaman ordered the shooting down of an aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces that was patrolling Russian airspace.

The military, according to the Investigative Committee, knew that the aircraft was unarmed and not intended for combat operations. The department claims that Dziaman's actions led to the death of 10 crew members and the destruction of the aircraft. The Investigative Committee does not specify which aircraft was destroyed or where exactly this occurred.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that on February 23, the Ukrainian military shot down a Russian reconnaissance aircraft A-50 in the Azov Sea region with 10 crew members on board. Russian "military correspondents" wrote that the cause of the aircraft's crash was "friendly fire." The Russian Ministry of Defense has not commented on the reports of the aircraft crash.

Russian Federation Military Transport Aviation, as reported by Ukrainian Pravda, has seven long-range radar aircraft for detection and control.

At the end of February 2023, Belarusian activists announced that they had sabotaged an airfield near Minsk and damaged a Russian A-50 aircraft located there. In January, the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed to have shot down another A-50 aircraft over the Azov Sea and damaged an Il-22M11 aviation command post.

A painful loss for Russia

The A-50U Beriev aircraft are an extremely important element of the Russian armed forces. They enable them to respond to the actions of the relatively modest Ukrainian air force.

Due to physical limitations, the real range of ground-based radars concerning low-flying objects is approximately 25-28 miles, and the only way to increase the range of such targets' detection is to place the radar on an aircraft operating at a high altitude.

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