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Ukraine's Defence Minister tells US Defence Secretary how Ukraine downed Russian A-50

Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 11:00
Ukraine's Defence Minister tells US Defence Secretary how Ukraine downed Russian A-50
Rustem Umierov and Lloyd Austin. Stock photo: Umierov on Facebook

Ukrainian Minister of Defence Rustem Umierov has discussed the situation on the front line and shared information about the successes of the Ukrainian Air Force with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin.

Source: Umierov on Facebook

Quote: "I have told my counterpart about the skilful operations of the Ukrainian military that led to the downing of a Russian A-50 aircraft over the Azov Sea. 


We discussed the current situation on the front, fortification reinforcement, the provision of additional anti-aircraft defence resources, and shoring up the capabilities of the Air Force.

We are getting ready to repel new attacks."


  • On the evening of 14 January, reports appeared on Russian and Ukrainian Telegram channels about the downing of a Russian A-50 reconnaissance aircraft and non-critical strike upon an Il-22M, which was partially confirmed on the morning of 15 January by Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, and Ukrainska Pravda’s sources in the Ukrainian government.
  • On 15 January, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, confirmed that the Ukrainian Air Force downed two important Russian planes: an airborne early warning system (AWACS) aircraft and an airborne command post.
  • Ukraine's Air Force reported that а Russian Il-22 command aircraft probably survived the Ukrainian attack, but is damaged beyond repair.
  • Kyrylo Budanov, Head of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU), claimed the destruction of the Russian A-50 AWACS aircraft would likely affect Russia's ability to maintain communications in the conflict zone "around the clock".
  • The Ukrainian Air Force explained that the loss of one A-50 cannot fundamentally impact the balance of forces using aviation on the front.

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