Has another Russian fighter jet been shot down by friendly fire?

Has a second Russian fighter jet been shot down by friendly fire in a week? Footage ‘shows smoke rising from destroyed Su-35 after pilot ejects in Donetsk’

  • A clip showed black smoke trailing from what is thought to be a jet crash site
  • Another Su-35 was downed by Russia’s own S-300 air defence system last week 

Russia may have lost yet another warplane in a friendly fire incident today after military bloggers reported that an Su-35 fighter jet was blasted out of the sky over Donetsk.

A clip circulating on the Telegram messaging app shows what is believed to be the wreckage of the stricken plane burning in a field near Mariupol, with a thick trail of black smoke rising from the crash site. 

The pilot ejected successfully and was in touch with his controllers, according to unconfirmed reports.

If confirmed, the incident would represent the second time in a week that Vladimir Putin’s forces have shot down their own warplane – something Russian pro-war channels strongly criticised as another instance of military incompetence.

Suspected crash of Russian Su-35 ‘downed by friendly fire’ near Mariupol in occupied Ukraine

Russian Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters perform a flight during the Aviadarts competition, as part of the International Army Games 2021, at the Dubrovichi range outside Ryazan, Russia August 27, 2021

Last week a Russian S-300 air defence system downed one of its own aircraft, killing the pilot

Military Informant Telegram channel said: ‘Another aircraft was lost from friendly air defence fire.

‘Thank God, this time the pilot survived.’

The level of communication with Russian planes and air defences was ‘rock bottom’, complained the channel.

Another channel Flightbomber said: ‘At this rate of our valiant air defence, we will soon be without aircraft.’

It is believed to be the fifth time a Russian military plane was shot down by friendly fire during the war.

On September 29, an £82 million Su-35 was downed by a Russian S-300 air defence system over Tokmak in the Zaporizhzhia region.

In that incident, the pilot was reportedly killed.

The Su-35 is a supermanoeuvrable, multirole fighter jet that is highly capable in dogfights with other enemy aircraft,as well as destroying targets on the ground and at sea

Russian aviation Z-blogger Fighterbomber published a photo of an Su-35 with the message: ‘Eternal flight, brother.’

Ukrainian Telegram channel Crimean Wind appeared to confirm this as well with a jubilant post that read: ‘Russian air defence vs Russian Su-35 1:0.

‘Russian soldiers used an S-300 missile to shoot down their own plane near Tokmak.

‘Work, brothers! Do not stop!’

Russia has lost approximately 90 planes since the start of the war against Ukraine, said an assessment by the British MoD ahead of the latest incident.

The ‘viability’ of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ (VKS) long-term tactical air power is likely to degrade as the war goes on, said the MoD.

‘The Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) have lost approximately 90 fixed-wing aircraft in combat since February 2022,’ said the assessment.

‘It has also been flying some of its combat aircraft types far more intensively than in peace time.’

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