Update (0925 EST):
Ukrainian Air Force Spokesperson Ignat is the latest Ukrainian official to claim their air defenses down the aircraft. Their statement reads below:
”It looks like Il-22 did reach Anapa. Living bastard.But, as you can see, the trough is ‘unrecoverable’. Because not to spin, the target is destroyed, resuscitation will not help!
The plane burned, there are wounded among the crew, hopefully 200!
The long-range radiolocation detection aircraft A-50 was and is a priority target for us. And to this day, destroying this board seemed like an impossible task for the Air Force. And here’s also il-22 (air command point) got under distribution!
Two ‘fatty’ goals at once!
I am proud of the service in the Air Forces of Ukraine!”
(end of update)
As this publication reported yesterday, at approximately 1550 EST, contact was lost with a Russian A-50/MAINSTAY over the Sea of Azov. Over the next hour, Russian military bloggers also claimed that a Russian IL-22/COOT was struck, albeit by Russian air defenses. The first government official to comment on the incident was Ukrainian Rada member Mysyagin, who confirmed Ukrainian air defenses had downed both aircraft.
Ukraine Claims Responsibility:
However, it was not until 0120 EST this morning that the first Ukrainian military officials commented on the situation. Ukrainian Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Oleschuk posted this on his Telegram page:
By 0300 EST, Ukrainian Command South Spokesperson Humenyuk also said that the “Russian knew the risk of flying near Southern Ukraine” and that the Ukrainian military downed the A-50 (near Obytichna Spit, Berdyansk, Zaporizhzia Oblast) and damaged the IL-22.
At 0400 EST, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi announced that the Ukrainian Air Force had targeted the planes:
”Soldiers of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the enemy A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and the Il-22 enemy air control post. Thanks to the Air Force for the excellently planned and conducted operation in Azov region!“
When Russian Presidential Spokesperson Peskov was asked about the shootdown, he said they did not have any information.
However, it is worth noting that several prominent Russian military bloggers are still claiming that Russian air defenses downed the A-50 and damaged the IL-22. By 0700 EST, this image was posted on X and TG, purporting to show the damaged tail section of the IL-22 after landing in Anapa.
There has still been no official comment from the Russian government on the incident.